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Article about Scott Parker and concussions

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Old
12-01-2013, 03:14 AM
  #1
Freudian
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Article about Scott Parker and concussions

It's an excellent artcicle by Dater and well worth reading.

In the long run it's inevitable fighting will be gone, but in the short run I hope they at least have very strict protocols to protect the players. Having Alzheimers/Parkinsons-like symptoms in your 30s-40s must be hell.

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12-01-2013, 03:32 AM
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It's sad, but it is a part of the game.

All jobs come with risks.

Have you ever met an old welder?

IMO fighting will never be banned.

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12-01-2013, 03:42 AM
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Thanks for posting the link. Parker was my favorite enforcer and had some amazing fights. It sucks that he's in such bad shape. He provided plenty of entertainment and seems like a good guy from what his teammates and Nairda Retad have said. Hopefully he can get some type of treatment.

I doubt fighting will be completely banned, but we will most likely continue to see more rules implemented to curb fighting even more.

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12-01-2013, 03:50 AM
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I can't help but wonder if some of the treatment Hishon received could help Parker

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12-01-2013, 08:36 AM
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Parker played another four seasons after the blow to his eye — with San Jose and Colorado, but only 56 games total — before Kelly told him to walk away. His final fight was in 2008, in a preseason Avs game against Los Angeles in Las Vegas, against rookie Kings enforcer Kevin Westgarth.

"He went up to Parks and said, 'Mr. Parker, I need some (penalty minutes) or else they might send me down. Could I fight you?' " Francesca recalled. "And Parks was like, 'Sure, kid.' He was trying to help the kid out. He's always trying to help others."


This made me laugh. But still, like any player who you read about with concussion problems, it sounds awful for him now. I wonder how much of it was being punched in the face and how much was the puck to the eye.

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12-01-2013, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danglesnipe View Post
It's sad, but it is a part of the game.

All jobs come with risks.

Have you ever met an old welder?

IMO fighting will never be banned.
I find it entertaining to have fighting in hockey but I feel at some point there's a moral obligation not to ruin peoples lives for entertainment. The neurological damage these people experience is not something to be taken likely.

Yes there are other dangerous jobs, many of them being essential services, but in every field there is rightfully a general (if slow) trend towards increasing employee safety, and hockey should be no different. NHL enforcers are far from an essential service and seems to be clearly linked to severely debilitating neurological damage, at young ages.

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12-01-2013, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nihiliste View Post
I find it entertaining to have fighting in hockey but I feel at some point there's a moral obligation not to ruin peoples lives for entertainment. The neurological damage these people experience is not something to be taken likely.

Yes there are other dangerous jobs, many of them being essential services, but in every field there is rightfully a general (if slow) trend towards increasing employee safety, and hockey should be no different. NHL enforcers are far from an essential service and seems to be clearly linked to severely debilitating neurological damage, at young ages.

When a fire fighter go's to work, he knows he's going into burning buildings once in a while.

An NHL enforcer knows it's their job to get beaned in the head occasionally for the team and the fans. You won't find too many of them that don't realize and accept this risk for their 1 million a year.

I don't feel any moral obligation or pity here... These guys know what they're signing up for. While it's an unfortunate consequence, it's all done by consenting adults.. You rarely see fights with players like, Bordy Vs Datsyuk, or McGratton Vs Duchene.

Rarely. It's mostly all done by enforcers now, people who know their place and accept it.

It's one of the best reason we have these "useless goon plugs" and enforcers.

If they want to take out fighting, they might as well take out hits too. More injuries result from hits anyway, and for every fan that is impartial about fighting or hates fighting, I can bet theres probably 2-3 that love it. Especially the more casual fans.

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12-01-2013, 12:44 PM
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"I always thought I was invincible. You could hit me over the head with a two-by-four and I'd just laugh," said Parker. "I used to train by wrapping my hands in chains and punching trees as hard as I could."


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12-02-2013, 04:26 AM
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As a corollary.

http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/...ssional-hockey

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12-02-2013, 04:52 AM
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Nihiliste
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheet View Post
When a fire fighter go's to work, he knows he's going into burning buildings once in a while.

An NHL enforcer knows it's their job to get beaned in the head occasionally for the team and the fans. You won't find too many of them that don't realize and accept this risk for their 1 million a year.

I don't feel any moral obligation or pity here... These guys know what they're signing up for. While it's an unfortunate consequence, it's all done by consenting adults.. You rarely see fights with players like, Bordy Vs Datsyuk, or McGratton Vs Duchene.

Rarely. It's mostly all done by enforcers now, people who know their place and accept it.

It's one of the best reason we have these "useless goon plugs" and enforcers.

If they want to take out fighting, they might as well take out hits too. More injuries result from hits anyway, and for every fan that is impartial about fighting or hates fighting, I can bet theres probably 2-3 that love it. Especially the more casual fans.
I want to emphasize this first part:

I hear this on HF a lot, but the bold is a completely ludicrous argument, because firefighting is an essential service. If we didn't need to send people into burning buildings, we wouldn't. Sometimes we have to, so we do. There is no urgent need to have two guys punch each other in the head in the middle of hockey games.

---

People are often willing to do things that are counter to their health and well being - that doesn't mean that steps shouldn't be taken to protect people. We know cigarettes are bad for us, but that doesn't stop the government from taxing cigarettes and running anti-smoking campaigns. If it weren't a big money making business with powerful companies and lobbies involved, they would probably be banned since they're a risk factor for so many incredibly harmful medical problems. In the case of hockey, we're going to reach the point of critical mass soon where it stops being profitable for the league to continue allowing fighting - case in point, the current class action lawsuit against the league based on concussions.

Finally, there's a difference between a separated shoulder, injured hip, injured knee, or whatever from a hit, or even in most cases a single severe concussion from a hit, compared to multiple repetitive instances of brain trauma sustained over years. There are rarer freak instances like Pronger taking a stick to the eye, but in general they're not the same thing and really shouldn't be compared.

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12-02-2013, 07:51 AM
  #11
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I always loved Parker and I'm sad to hear that he's still having health trouble so long after retiring.

I think the most important thing about this article is this:

Quote:
He estimates he participated in around 400 fights, absorbed at least 4,000 punches to the head and face, and suffered 20 to 25 concussions, but part of the "code" of being an enforcer in the NHL is never letting anyone know you're too hurt to get back on the ice and fight.
With what we know about concussions and CTE, if a hockey player gets a concussion they need to sit out until they are safe to play again. Hockey's culture of playing through injuries is a major detriment in this particular case. Playing through a fractured ankle in the playoffs doesn't have the same potential to **** up your life like playing through a concussion can. Unfortunately players, especially tough guys like enforcers, seem unlikely to go to the medical staff and say they're too hurt to play.

I wonder if it would help if anyone participating in a fight had to go sit in the quiet room and get evaluated for a concussion? They're off the ice for 5 minutes anyways, and with TV timeouts and stoppages in play they likely wouldn't end up missing much additional game time.

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12-02-2013, 11:01 AM
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I'm surprised they printed such a lengthy rant on Bob Hartley but I guess Dater couldn't let the juicy quotes go to waste.

Where I stand with this is that it is an important issue that deserves attention. However, how can you separate the effects from fighting and the effects from playing hockey? Parker even says he thinks a lot of his issues stem from the puck in the eye. No doubt all the fights he was in contributes but how can you filter each out? And this season how many fights have lead to concussions and how many nasty elbows to the head or running over the goalie have lead to concussions?

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12-02-2013, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheet View Post
When a fire fighter go's to work, he knows he's going into burning buildings once in a while.

An NHL enforcer knows it's their job to get beaned in the head occasionally for the team and the fans. You won't find too many of them that don't realize and accept this risk for their 1 million a year.

I don't feel any moral obligation or pity here... These guys know what they're signing up for. While it's an unfortunate consequence, it's all done by consenting adults.. You rarely see fights with players like, Bordy Vs Datsyuk, or McGratton Vs Duchene.

Rarely. It's mostly all done by enforcers now, people who know their place and accept it.

It's one of the best reason we have these "useless goon plugs" and enforcers.

If they want to take out fighting, they might as well take out hits too. More injuries result from hits anyway, and for every fan that is impartial about fighting or hates fighting, I can bet theres probably 2-3 that love it. Especially the more casual fans.
The advancements made in concussion research and CTE is relatively new. Just like NFL players, these guys didn't necessarily know the long-term effects of concussions. And as far as hits to the head, there are rules governing those.

Your lack of human compassion is noted.

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12-02-2013, 11:40 AM
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I love fighting. Hope its never banned

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12-02-2013, 11:42 AM
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When I played I had a few bad concussions, and still feel some effects from it today... some may even notice symptoms on here from time-to-time. I was told to play through (by doctors and coaches) some symptoms that today would keep you off the ice for weeks or longer. This was less than 15 years ago. Everybody knows there are risks with sports, but the risks of repeated head injuries is a more recent realization.

I just hope for Parker and every other person dealing with these issues that doctors find a way to help alleviate these issues and maybe hold off CTE for a while.

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12-02-2013, 11:53 AM
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I agree, I think the new understanding of the long term consequences is important. Hockey players may be a tough group that want to play through pain, but until recently there was a limited understanding of what could happen. Breaking a bone in your face, getting your "bell rung", even understanding that you could be out for a while with concussion symptoms, these are all different things than seeing and truly knowing what could happen if you develop CTE. Needing your wife to act as a caretaker to help with basic tasks of daily living at 35 is a terrifying prospect. That's robbing a man of potentially 55+ great years of healthy life. Not being able to remember simple things like your groceries, not being able to drive a short distance, not being able to coordinate something so simple as hopping on one foot - imagine how that kind of stuff would take away from the ability to find work after hockey, to have kids and raise a family, to even just enjoy each day at home with your wife etc. And the scariest thing about is that for most degenerative neurological conditions, there's really not much we can do about it - sometimes we can alleviate the symptoms, sometimes the progression slows down, but in general, this is not something we can fix. The Parkers sound like they're as positive as its possible to be about the situation and I truly wish them the best but it's a scary thing.

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12-02-2013, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nihiliste View Post
I want to emphasize this first part:

I hear this on HF a lot, but the bold is a completely ludicrous argument, because firefighting is an essential service. If we didn't need to send people into burning buildings, we wouldn't. Sometimes we have to, so we do. There is no urgent need to have two guys punch each other in the head in the middle of hockey games.
Firefighters aren't drafted into service though, people who become firefighters become them because they have the passion for it. They know the risks like people who smoke, they know the risks as well.

This is what freedom is. If people do not want cigs to be taxes, they should have elected other officials in office.

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12-02-2013, 02:21 PM
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Nobody forces these guys to fight. If you don't want health problems? Find another job or don't drop the gloves. It's pretty simple. Just like a hangover all these problems are self induced.

Fighting is such apart of hockey culture doubt it ever goes away. Weren't aloud to drop the gloves in games as kids or you'd get tossed, yet everybody always did it. Or actually just the kids that wanted too. Anybody remember gladiating or however you spell it with friends in the dressing room when you were younger? NHL is filled with people who have played hockey there entire lives, can't change something that large.

I say leave the game as is, too many people want to change something that was never broken.

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12-02-2013, 02:53 PM
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It doesn't matter if it's their passion Seph, if we had a remote way of putting out fires and pulling people out of danger there is no way that the government willingly sends employees into danger.
--

Saying people know what they're getting into is a stupid argument. We've already talked about how, until recently, people didn't really know what they could be facing. Furthermore, improved workplace safety should always be a goal. People who work as coal and silica miners can get interstitial lung fibrosis and eventually cancer - no one forces them to do it but that doesn't mean that we should make no effort to make technological advancements that reduce their exposures and protect them from severe lung damage. Health care workers are at risk of contracting severe, anti-biotic resistant infectious diseases - but they know about that risk so why bother instating and improving isolation measures to keep them (and other patients/the community at large of course) safe? I know I'm drawing parallels to absurd arguments that you never put forward, but what I'm saying is that the situation is not all that different. The league has a responsibility to keep its players safe, within reason.

Fighting is part of hockey, but so were hits to the head until recently. Knowing what we now know about CTE, and knowing the legal battle the NHL potentially faces going forward, I think its inevitable that fighting will eventually be removed from the game.

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Old
12-02-2013, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nihiliste View Post
I want to emphasize this first part:

I hear this on HF a lot, but the bold is a completely ludicrous argument, because firefighting is an essential service. If we didn't need to send people into burning buildings, we wouldn't. Sometimes we have to, so we do. There is no urgent need to have two guys punch each other in the head in the middle of hockey games.

---

People are often willing to do things that are counter to their health and well being - that doesn't mean that steps shouldn't be taken to protect people. We know cigarettes are bad for us, but that doesn't stop the government from taxing cigarettes and running anti-smoking campaigns. If it weren't a big money making business with powerful companies and lobbies involved, they would probably be banned since they're a risk factor for so many incredibly harmful medical problems. In the case of hockey, we're going to reach the point of critical mass soon where it stops being profitable for the league to continue allowing fighting - case in point, the current class action lawsuit against the league based on concussions.

Finally, there's a difference between a separated shoulder, injured hip, injured knee, or whatever from a hit, or even in most cases a single severe concussion from a hit, compared to multiple repetitive instances of brain trauma sustained over years. There are rarer freak instances like Pronger taking a stick to the eye, but in general they're not the same thing and really shouldn't be compared.
The tax on cigs really isn't so much of a discouragement as much as it is a tax on a highly addictive thing that people will pay for even at absurd prices. If they raised the price for a 2 liter of coke to 7 bucks because of tax, it wouldn't sell as well, but you can raise the price of cigs to 12 bucks a pack and they do with only a small impact on sales in areas with native reservations nearby, at least in NY. It's a big pay day for uncle sam.

Ok, this isn't political discussion so I'll get back on track.

You're putting too much stock on the government doing this and that. You take a risk getting in your car and driving to work. You take risks every day. When I go to work there's risks that are involved. Very dangerous risks. I willingly take those risks because the pay is good, and I'm aware of the risks. Just like Fire Fighters, and NHL Enforcers.

This isn't a communist system. We have the ability to make a few decisions our self here. One of those decisions happens to be if we want to get our heads punched for over half a million bucks a year. If Bordy didn't want to fight ever again, there is no requirement for him to. It's his choice to do it, especially in the NHL where very few fights aren't between fighters.

That firefighter is a firefighter by choice. The government has nothing to do with their decision to firefight. Cops are cops by choice, folks joining the military are joining the military by choice. All of which are far more dangerous and run the risk for life ending injury in bucket loads more then an NHL fight.
My statement isn't ludicrous because you don't agree with it. I believe in individual responsibility.

As far as increasing workplace safety, they've already done this. Reference the helmet rule, and some of the other rules they've passed to limit fighting.

Like it or not, fighting is a part of hockey. I was hardly a goon when I played but I dropped gloves even knowing I'd get booted and suspended for two games. It's just part of hockey, as much as body checking is.

Hits to the head still happen, too. Banned or not, penalized heavily or not, head injury is going to happen in a game like hockey and I bet if we look at all of the people on the IR yearly for concussions, the goons are a very small percent of it. A body impacting you at 20 MPH is a lot more devastating then a fist.

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Old
12-02-2013, 03:18 PM
  #21
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I agree that saying there is risk and therefore no liability is just plain silly. Yes, there is risk, but you can take steps to mitigate that. The NHL at least is leading the way when it comes to this. Doesn't mean they can't do a hell of a whole lot more, but they're making a conscious effort. I think the NFL's approach to concussion protocol is obscenely bad, but no one will ever take Roger Goodell and his money machine to task, because money.

I grew up playing the game, and also grew up hating fighting. That said, I don't think the NHL's current approach to try and legislate it little by little out of the game is the right way to go about it. What the league is failing to do is convincing players that they can properly police the game if fighting were to end tomorrow. Obviously they can't.

I don't mind a guy like Patrick Bordeleau who provides a lot more than just his fists as opposed to a guy like John Scott who has no business being in the NHL.

These are the things I want to see:

1. A guy answering the bell after laying a cheap shot.

What I no longer want to see:

1. Play stopped because someone dropped the gloves after a perfectly legit hit.

2. Bench-clearing brawls.

3. Staged goon fights.

4. Needless and idiotic scrums in front of the net.

5. WWE-style takedowns to bail on a fight (that's the reason we've seen severe head injuries and even one death in juniors as a result of fighting). If you need to bail on a fight, do what Steve Downie did his first game in Philly this year and tell the guy you're done.

I think fighting still has a place, I just don't want to see guys in the NHL who can't play hockey.

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12-02-2013, 03:22 PM
  #22
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@ Sheet :

I refer to government regulations only in areas that are regulated by government - e.g. firefighters.

As you seem to acknowledge, workplace safety is a constant work in progress. I don't think the fact that current attempts to reduce hits to the head haven't been that successful is a reason to stop trying.

Those jobs are an option because there aren't safer alternatives in the moment. We don't have the ability to fight fires by remote. The military is a whole other can of worms I don't want to get into, but what do you think motivated the development of drone attacks? I've already addressed the issue of public service vs. not. I don't care to discuss it further.

My position boils down to this: if I knew that the work that I had my employees do was causing chronic degenerative brain damage, with dementia setting in your 30s and almost parkinsonian movement disorders, and there was any other alternative I firmly believe that I would have the responsibility not to put them in that position. That's regardless of whether or not they willingly accept the risks. I believe the NHL ultimately has that same responsibility. Whether or not others believe the same is firmly up to them and I don't think I'm going to change any minds here.

Edit: Removed an unfair statement


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12-02-2013, 09:44 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nihiliste View Post
@ Sheet :

I refer to government regulations only in areas that are regulated by government - e.g. firefighters.

As you seem to acknowledge, workplace safety is a constant work in progress. I don't think the fact that current attempts to reduce hits to the head haven't been that successful is a reason to stop trying.

Those jobs are an option because there aren't safer alternatives in the moment. We don't have the ability to fight fires by remote. The military is a whole other can of worms I don't want to get into, but what do you think motivated the development of drone attacks? I've already addressed the issue of public service vs. not. I don't care to discuss it further.

My position boils down to this: if I knew that the work that I had my employees do was causing chronic degenerative brain damage, with dementia setting in your 30s and almost parkinsonian movement disorders, and there was any other alternative I firmly believe that I would have the responsibility not to put them in that position. That's regardless of whether or not they willingly accept the risks. I believe the NHL ultimately has that same responsibility. Whether or not others believe the same is firmly up to them and I don't think I'm going to change any minds here.

Edit: Removed an unfair statement
Cost of 1 F16 is approx 50 mil, and this doesn't count the cost of the pilot, to include gear, training, etc., or additional equipment inside an aircraft because there is a human in there like ventilation, ejection seat, etc.

I don't include that cost because it can be argued drones have pilots too.

Cost of 1 Drone. Approx 4 Mil.

Now you know why we use drones.

I didn't say they should stop trying to keep people safe, not once. I'm saying that people that are enforcers now days especially know the risks associated with it and do it willingly.

Sure, rules have been passed to penalize head hunting more, but a hit to the head isn't the only cause for concussion. The hit EJ took against Min, where he was trying to catch the puck, is the perfect storm for a severe concussion.

It's a violent game. My argument is that fighting statistically isn't what's going to yield the most concussions in hockey. Not so much anymore that helmets stay on, ETC.

Like, I get your point. If there was a way to make not only fighting but the game safer as a whole, specifically in regard to head injuries, I support it. I also believe in individual accountability and free will. I thought I read an article about the NHL wanting to ban fighting a few years back and the NHLPA said nope? It could of been hypothetical or fact, but I know I read something on it somewhere.

Maybe that's different now that TBI information is more available. I'm just saying, individual accountability. No one is putting a gun to Orr, McGratton, or Bordy's head.

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Old
12-02-2013, 10:02 PM
  #24
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The stuff about Hartley is very interesting.

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12-02-2013, 10:08 PM
  #25
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It honestly sounds like the puck to his eye caused the biggest damage by far. The punches surely hurt too but he said it was worse than anything he ever experienced and he forced himself to play thru seizures etc afterward. Get well soon, man.

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