"I didn't have these checked out because I wanted to play," he said. "I'm not the kind of guy who goes in and gets checked out every time I take a hard hit. If I feel I can play, I play. That is who I am. That is how I was brought up to play."
I'm no Bob Clarke groupie by any means, but I don't think this is a case of the Flyers pressuring him to play after a bad hit or anything like that. He's just a tough, tough player and wants to be out there all the time. He knows the drill: if he complains of dizziness to the doctor, they're going to bench him for a few games at least. He said it himself: he doesn't like sitting out.
That said, I think he and other players owe it to their families (before the team) to make sure they're not playing with a concussion. Hockey only lasts a relatively short period for most players. 20+ years for the very few like Messier... but when you can live to be 80, why screwn up the intervening years on account of a couple hockey games?
You've got a wife and kids and one day maybe grandkids to worry about. Don't risk a premanent mental or physical incapacitation, just to play more hockey than you otherwise might have.
JR is a warriour. If it is his final act as a hockey player to go out this way it would be a shame. I want to see him lift a cup once. That said, I would also credit him with never being soft and realizing that he couldn't risk another serious injury before he had to call it quits.
What WILL the Fliers do if JR retires? I would say that they fall from grace. Still gobs of talent, just loads less heart.