The NHL has suspended players a total of 116 games and fined just over $2 billion as the league has clamped down on head contact for a safer NHL.
Has it worked?
James Wisniewski of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Andy Sutton of the Edmonton Oilers have taken on the most time off the bench with eight games suspended apiece this season.
There have been 989 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.
Sure, it isn’t exactly fair that offenders are sitting out 1/9th the length of those injured. But, let’s remember, a lot of these man-lost concussions are not from offenders.
A few excerpts:
51 – Andy McDonald, St. Louis — was hit in a scrum by his own teammate David Backes in a game against Dallas on Oct. 12. He returned on Feb. 12
38 – Guillaume Latendresse, Minnesota – the Wild forward collided into the boards and suffered a concussion in a game against San Jose on Nov. 10. He returned to action on Dec. 13, but left the next game after seven minutes with concussion-like symptoms.
36 – Chris Pronger, Philadelphia – again the Flyers did not reveal until well after the fact that their stud defenceman, who also has undergone knee surgery, suffered a head injury. The team says he will not return this season.
31 – Jay Beagle, Washington — suffered a head injury in a fight with Pittsburgh forward Arron Asham on Oct. 12. He returned on Dec. 28.
18 – James Reimer, Toronto – the Maple Leafs maintain that their goalie did not suffer a concussion, but he has missed significant time with concussion-like symptoms after his mask was knocked off by Montreal captain Brian Gionta on Oct. 22. He returned on Dec. 3
The findings reflect Tuesday afternoon. It’s quite a list, and surely, the game has been played with more precaution. But, perhaps the reoccurrence concussions like Sidney Crosby and Peter Mueller are having some weight this year totaling 88 games missed between the both of this. (Crosby has missed 48.)
It may take a few years for the games missed to go down, and perhaps even for the suspensions to go down.
What do you think? What do the numbers reflect to you?