His role as the NHL's media ambassador may never be as important as it is now, as concussions have plagued the NHL's stars this season.
Brad Richards and Marc Savard are just two others who have suffered concussions this NHL campaign. Currently, 15 players are out with concussions, or concussion-like symptoms, according to this article put out by TSN.
Not all of these injuries have been the byproduct of hits to the head, but the number that are is still too high. The NHL is expanding, and that is causing more children to choose to play hockey. Therefore, protecting today's NHL players should be of the highest concern to the league.
The players set an example for the younger generation, and we don't want parents not allowing their children to play due to the fear of sustaining concussions. Players need to be more careful and avoid open ice and blindside hits.
The upcoming GM meeting will determine whether or not to strengthen Rule 48, which banned blindside hits to the head. The GM's need to use Sidney Crosby as an example why the rule needs to be strengthened.
Let me make this absolutely clear, I am all for a physical game of hockey, I just don't think that players should be taking open ice runs at unsuspecting players.
There's just no more room in the game for these type of unneeded injuries. If the rule isn't revised, more and more players are going to get hurt, possibly with career-ending side effects. Let's protect our players and get these hits out of the game.
As the NHL season goes on, and the playoffs spots become harder to come by, the teams whose stars are on injured reserve due to concussions will really miss them on the ice. If the league's GM's don't take a firmer stand on hits to the head, this year's overly large occurrence of concussions will plague the NHL for many years to come.
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