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On Tuesday, the NHL announced changes to its concussion protocol. After recent lawsuits coming against the league from former players, the NHL has begun to crack down on concussions even more in an attempt to protect all of the players. With the updated protocol, the NHL is making sure that all clubs make every possible attempt to protect the players.
In the press release, the NHL announced that there will be a new “Central League Spotters” program. With this new program, there will be spotters placed at the Player Safety room in New York. In addition to the spotters in New York (who will be watching all games from a TV screen), the NHL will also have spotters placed inside the arenas. On-ice officials will also be permitted to send a player off for a concussion if necessary. If a player is pulled from a game due to a possible concussion, he has to be cleared by the team’s medical staff in order to go back into the game.
The press release also states that clubs will be fined an undisclosed amount if they violate the new concussion protocol. It appears that fines will be higher if there are repeated offenses.
CONCUSSIONS ARE A MAJOR PROBLEM
There is no doubt that concussions can and have ruined players’ careers. This is a serious issue in all sports today, and every single professional sports league is cracking down on it in order to protect their players.
This is an issue that needs to be taken seriously, and it is good to see that the NHL is doing something innovative to try and help the problem.
DID THE NHL MAKE THE CORRECT MOVE?
Concussions can be interesting sometimes. When some players receive them, it is tough to notice by the naked eye. Some players show the symptoms of a concussion more than others do.
I am all for the NHL cracking down on concussions. I fully support the health and well being of players and officials on the ice. The game on the ice is so quick now, and big hits can happen at any time on the ice.
WHAT DO I THINK OF THE NEW CHANGES?
I am all for having spotters located inside the arena. I do believe that all spotters should have some sort of athletic or medical background. They should be trained properly on how to sense a possible concussion.
When I read the part about the concussion spotters located in New York, I became puzzled. Will these concussion spotters be able to spot a concussion from a television screen? Will these spotters be able to see the entire ice surface and bench? My main question involving the spotters located in New York is: Will they really be effective in detecting a concussion from behind a TV screen?
It is one thing when you are at a hockey game in person, and inside the arena. You can see the whole ice surface and bench at all times. On television, you do not get to see the entire playing surface at all times.
While I am all for having numerous concussion spotters for games, I can only question the NHL’s decision to have spotters watching from a television screen in New York. Can the outside-arena spotters actually spot a concussion a player may have?
I respect the NHL’s innovation, and updated concussion protocol. I think it is very important to protect the players on the ice, and it is important that players should be able to have long careers.
Something I could suggest for the NHL is the addition of more on-ice cameras. With more cameras on the ice, this could possibly help out with player safety. Could the NHL possibly add more cameras inside the bench? Could the NHL possibly add more cameras on top of the glass or resting along the boards? There might be more ways the NHL could use on-ice cameras to their advantage. We live in the glorious age of modern technology, where cameras are as good as they have ever been. Can more on-ice cameras help solve the concussion issue?
By: George Foussekis