The Concussion And Suspension Numbers The Player Safety Argument

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The Concussion and Suspension Numbers – The Player Safety Argument

Junior Hockey typically follows the lead of the NHL in most regards. Proposals to eliminate or create an escalating penalty system for fighting in junior hockey are being proposed in the United States and Canada. Most of the head trauma issues do not come from fighting, although some do, most come from other head contact. However, medical specialists have said that fighting, and the continued trauma from fighting can be directly corolated to depression, and other physical problems later in life.

If this type of trauma from fighting is eliminated, the argument is that if other head trauma takes place, that the recovery time may be quicker, and more importantly the long term health of players may be effected in a positive manner.

The NHL is cracking down on head shots and rightly so. The totals? There have been 1,154 man-games lost to head injuries so far this season. Players have sat out 111 games from suspensions with fines totaling $2,005,205.41.

If a study were done throughout Junior Hockey would the NHL numbers mirror those in junior? Because of the multiple levels in junior, varied medical budgets at varied levels, one could easily see how some teams with lesser resources can miss head injuries and symptoms. How many players dont seek treatment if it means sitting out games? How many coaches say "take an aspirin" to a player who complains of a head ache?

Clearly, with the NHL numbers the issue will be one continuing to be a topic of discussion.

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