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In the never ending saga of concussions (See post #598)

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Old
11-20-2011, 02:44 PM
  #251
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ESPN_NHL 12:37pm via ESPN News Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh Penguins to return Monday against New York Islanders - es.pn/uQ4Qlc




Here's hoping he never has another concussion!

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11-25-2011, 03:36 PM
  #252
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http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/43146-.html

NHLPA raise the awareness of concussions.

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12-05-2011, 06:29 PM
  #253
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The NYTimes has had a lengthy 3 part series on Derek Boogard - Punched Out: The Life and Death of a Hockey Enforcer.

Derek Boogaard: A Boy Learns to Brawl
Derek Boogaard: Blood on the Ice
Derek Boogaard: A Brain ‘Going Bad’
Video: Punched Out - The Life and Death of a Hockey Enforcer

It had been speculated, but I don't recall any reports confirming it, that Boogard likely suffered from C.T.E. (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) - the Times piece confirms it.

Quote:
The Boogaard family waited for results. One month. Two. Three. Two other N.H.L. enforcers died, reportedly suicides, stoking a debate about the toll of their role in hockey.

Four months. Five. The news came in a conference call to the family in October.

Boogaard had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, commonly known as C.T.E., a close relative of Alzheimer’s disease. It is believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head. It can be diagnosed only posthumously, but scientists say it shows itself in symptoms like memory loss, impulsiveness, mood swings, even addiction.

More than 20 dead former N.F.L. players and many boxers have had C.T.E. diagnosed. It generally hollowed out the final years of their lives into something unrecognizable to loved ones.

And now, the fourth hockey player, of four examined, was found to have had it, too.

But this was different. The others were not in their 20s, not in the prime of their careers.

The scientists on the far end of the conference call told the Boogaard family that they were shocked to see so much damage in someone so young. It appeared to be spreading through his brain. Had Derek Boogaard lived, they said, his condition likely would have worsened into middle-age dementia.

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12-05-2011, 06:59 PM
  #254
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Honestly, the much more damning thing about the NYT article to me is how the Rangers (and to a much lesser extent, the Wild) mismanaged a player with a known substance abuse issue. Writing more prescriptions for painkillers, NYR doctors? Stupid.

The CTE stuff cannot be tied to the substance abuse (which started before he became a full-time hockey goon, since the story says he abused alcohol as a teenager), and the substance abuse can theoretically explain the chances to his brain, though because there have been no control or other studies on CTE in the general population, we know next to nothing about it despite what BU says.

So given that, the biggest thing in the article is that the NHL needs to take a stern look at it's substance abuse system and figure out how to police teams that knowingly enable abuse through poor control of their team doctors.

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12-06-2011, 06:42 PM
  #255
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http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/135121858.html

Bettman: not enough evidence to link concussions and degenerative brain aliment

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12-07-2011, 02:14 AM
  #256
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http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hocke...Top+Stories%29

Fehr concerned over report about Boogard (CTE)

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12-07-2011, 07:24 AM
  #257
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After reading the NYT article, I wouldn't have a problem with a ban on fighting.

I remember reading a Sports Illustrated article in... must have been about 1996, that said many of the league's goons have drug and alcohol problems because they can't handle the stress of that they have to do. Shame that nothing seems to have changed since then.

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12-12-2011, 04:33 PM
  #258
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http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/12/411...#mi_rss=Sports

NBA institutes new concussion policy.

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The league said Monday the protocols went into effect with the start of training camps. The neurologist hired to lead its concussion program will be consulted before any player returns to competition.

Players will undergo baseline testing each year, which can be used later to assist in diagnosing concussions. Players, coaches and team medical personnel will take part in annual training.

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12-12-2011, 06:07 PM
  #259
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The NYTimes has had a lengthy 3 part series on Derek Boogard - Punched Out: The Life and Death of a Hockey Enforcer.

Derek Boogaard: A Boy Learns to Brawl
Derek Boogaard: Blood on the Ice
Derek Boogaard: A Brain ‘Going Bad’
Video: Punched Out - The Life and Death of a Hockey Enforcer

It had been speculated, but I don't recall any reports confirming it, that Boogard likely suffered from C.T.E. (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) - the Times piece confirms it.
The NY Times keeps up it's drum beat against fighting/concussions:

Hockey’s History, Woven With Violence
Quote:
Hockey’s History, Woven With Violence
By JEFF Z. KLEIN
Published: December 10, 2011

MONTREAL — It is one of sport’s biggest mysteries: how did hockey come to tolerate fighting? Hockey historians say that no one knows why or even exactly when the game decided long ago to tolerate fighting while other violent-collision sports like rugby and football did not.

But Adam Gopnik, a writer for The New Yorker, has offered a theory that tries to explain why fighting and violence seem to be in hockey’s DNA. He regards violence as an outgrowth of organized hockey’s origins in late-19th-century Montreal, where ethnic groups formed rival clubs that gave the game the “archaic tang,” as he put it, “of my gang here versus your gang there.”

Gopnik, who grew up here and is a Canadiens fan, sees hockey as the most creative sport, but also “the most clannish, most given to brutal tribal rules of insult and retribution.” For him, the key lies in the fleur-de-lis, the rose, the shamrock and the thistle that adorn this city’s flag.

Gopnik offered his hypothesis last November at Canada’s biggest annual intellectual event, the Massey Lectures, which since 1961 have featured speakers like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Margaret Atwood. It is also contained in a book based on his lectures, “Winter: Five Windows on a Season.”


In Debate About Fighting in Hockey, Medical Experts Weigh In

Quote:
In Debate About Fighting in Hockey, Medical Experts Weigh In
By JEFF Z. KLEIN
Published: December 12, 2011

The determination that the hockey enforcer Derek Boogaard had a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated hits to the head when he died in May at age 28 has fueled a debate among medical experts over whether the sport should ban fighting.

The N.H.L. commissioner, Gary Bettman, has played down the findings announced last week by Boston University researchers that Boogaard had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a close relative of Alzheimer’s disease known as C.T.E. He said data on the causes of brain trauma were insufficient to warrant stiffer penalties for fighting.

Dr. Ruben Echemendia, a former president of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, advises Bettman as the director of the concussion working group formed in 1997 and operated jointly by the league and the union. He agreed with Bettman’s position, saying there is not enough scientific evidence to justify rules changes that would curtail or end fighting in the N.H.L.

“I think it’s an opinion based on limited data,” Echemendia said about the conclusion by scientists at Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy that hits to the head sustained in hockey might lead to C.T.E. “My perspective is, we should not make wholesale changes until we have more than opinion and speculation.”

Some independent experts, however, say ample evidence exists.

“We in science can dot the line between blows to the head, brain degeneration and all of these other issues,” said Dr. Charles H. Tator, a neurosurgeon and researcher at the Toronto Western Hospital who heads programs to reduce head and spinal-cord injuries in sports. “So in my view, it’s time for the leagues to acknowledge this serious issue and take steps to reduce blows to the brain.” Those steps, he said, included “getting fighting out of the game.”
The NY Times has now devoted space to 5 articles about fighting in the last week - including the lengthy 3 part feature on Boogard - if anyone doubted that the issue is getting traction with the general media. And given that the issues of fighting, violence, and concussions are being largely grouped together - I expect a real uproar if Crosby's latest setback turns into another lost season or more.

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12-13-2011, 08:00 PM
  #260
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If they even wear them properly. Players don't even wear visors and some that do tip the helmets so far back, what's the point? Same with helmets.

Then they should also have an league doctor not answerable to the team do the evaluation. Also, allow player to be called up at that time and not have salary count against cap if at same or lower salary.

You cannot be too careful with concussions.
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Originally Posted by JuniorNelson View Post
The obvious question is why are flimsey little half helmets allowed in a contact sport with speeds reaching over thirty miles an hour?

The "Messier" helmet, lauded as a major innovation seems best suited to covering baldness. Don't think so? I propose a test; put on the latest, greatest hockey helmet and I will attack you with a bat.

If you think I am being facetious, I am not. The impacts absorbed by players easily reaches the levels of an attack with a bat.

The NFL has approached the same problem seriously and adopted real rules regaurding the helmet. Newer helmet designs result in less injuries. Until the NHL approaches the problem seriously there won't be any improvement in safety.

Real helmets cover the entire head and dissapate energy. They are heavy. They are hot. They save lives.
I know those are old posts but I was wondering about helmets recently.

Is there any other comments about helmets in the previous eleven pages? I'm serious.

It just seems that the NHL and the media or anyone publicly talking about concussions never mentions helmets. They mention the players, that they're bigger and stronger. They mention how the other equipment is more rigid although close in weight to the older style equipment so it's more protective to those areas of the body but also more lethal. Then there's the glass, the boards, the stanchions that are 'sticking out' and the players allegedly not having as much respect (but, I think that is highly debatable) with so many hits on guys in vulnerable positions.

But, hardly any mention on helmets. Who are the manufacturers of helmets? The brand names on them are Nike, Reebok, CCM and? Many of these companies also have organizations and franchises in the shoe manufacturing business. They are known to cut corners or at least have merchandise that are in questionable quality (control) at times. Why wouldn't the same be for helmets? What is the required regulations and standards for helmets? Are they strict and if so, how is that measured? We know they're 'CSA approved' but what does that mean, really?

To me, helmets look like they're aren't all that protective given the impact upon player's heads. Even when there's a violent movement of the neck and head (or upper body), that's a concern but the helmets always seem to be just a tad loose. Just look at how easy they seem to come off. Players wear helmets, mouthguards and some wear the visors but it seems these are hardly enough.

Look at Giroux getting a concussion because a team mate accidently bumped him with his knee as he tried to leap frog him. Would an improved helmet protect him more? What improvements can be attained with helmets these days? Is it feasible or realistic to have R&D work on this? Should the regulations be re-examined?

I think protective headgear should be re-evaluated since the impacts and contact is to such a degree that it seems it's much more often (or seems so) to experience or suffer a concussion. Once you get one or even two or three, it seems it becomes a threat to a player's career and then their post-sports life. If there's any chance or possibility to upgrade the protection on helmets, this should seriously be examined. Even if it requires an investment on R&D or whatever's needed.

I already have stated views on visors and fighting but that's another topic, perhaps? Boogard and other enforcers most likely had their deteriorating health related to fights with punches to the head but that's another matter. Removing or really restricting fighting would do some good in reducing instances of those incidences which really have nothing to do with events during an actual game, does it? That is, everyone stops playing when the fight occurs so at least, that doesn't require rule changes that would change the game. Although, those who argue fighting is required would argue that but it should be evaluated seriously and critically.

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12-14-2011, 06:01 PM
  #261
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http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2...he-quiet-room/

While the NHL and teams have given HBO 24/7 cameras access to almost everywhere, they did deny entrance to the "quiet room" when Flyers' Giroux was being evaluated after teammate lept over him while on his hands/knees and hit him in the head.



http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puc...rn=nhl-wp19874

Meanwhile, Puck Daddy looks at the "All-Concussion Team" that (when healthy) could win a lot of games.
Quote:
1st Line: Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux, Milan Michalek
...
2nd Line: Jeff Skinner, Mike Richards, Nathan Gerbe
...
3rd Line: Peter Mueller, Brayden Schenn, Andy McDonald
...
4th Line: Jay Beagle, Marcel Goc, Nino Niederreiter
D: Pronger-Letang; Z Michalek-M Staal; Pitaken-Zidlicky; Sauer-Bortuzzo
G: Miller, Reimer



Agent Allan Walsh tweets today that one client says that there are a few reasons there are "more" concussions: first, more are being reported; second, shoulder and elbow pads aren't helping (more like weapons).

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12-14-2011, 06:39 PM
  #262
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Agent Allan Walsh tweets today that one client says that there are a few reasons there are "more" concussions: first, more are being reported; second, shoulder and elbow pads aren't helping (more like weapons).
The 2nd reason, the NHL can and will want to change.

But, what about helmets?

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12-15-2011, 06:52 PM
  #263
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Another Season-ending concussion:
PRONGER OUT INDEFINITELY WITH CONCUSSION-LIKE SYMPTOMS
http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=382826

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12-16-2011, 01:11 AM
  #264
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Another Season-ending concussion:
PRONGER OUT INDEFINITELY WITH CONCUSSION-LIKE SYMPTOMS
http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=382826

And he has another five seasons on his contract (after this) that will count against the cap regardless if he retires (as it's a 35+ deal).

LTIR cap relief, at least.



OTF played a few minutes from today's NHL Hour with Bettman and Hradek talking about concussions, what the league has/is doing, including new plexiglass in rinks, concussion protocol, etc.


Interesting comment from Sharks radio commentators during tonight's game asking if the game has gotten too fast.

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12-16-2011, 01:24 AM
  #265
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Jeremy_Roenick: Concussions http://t.co/cwzG2gEF If I were playing now they'd want my brain for a Science project. 13 concussions that I know about.

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12-16-2011, 08:04 AM
  #266
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Interesting comment from Sharks radio commentators during tonight's game asking if the game has gotten too fast.
I think that's the simple fact, LadyStanley, and it really presents a problem. We know what outcry comes from claims like 'it's fighting that's causing a lot of the concussions', but at least with fighting you have a segment of the fanbase that's against it anyway, so if that were the main cause of most of the concussions (speaking hypothetically) then it could be eliminated though with many objections. But speed is an element of the game that no one is against and virtually everyone is in favor of. How do you tell the paying customer that you're going to implement strategies to reduce it? In fact, quite to the contrary, the rule changes that took place during the lockout have enthused many hockey fans, while at the same time there seems to be this corelation between the increased speed of the game (along with a few other factors, not the least being an increased size of the players) and what we've been seeing as an increased number of concussions.

Now some have said that it's quite possibly nothing more than improved diagnosis procedures which are detecting more concussions. If that's the fact, then perhaps the speed of the game isn't the biggest culprit; however, improved diagnosis or not, a serious problem has been identified and the League must find a way to deal with it.

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12-16-2011, 11:10 AM
  #267
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http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=382869

Hodge: Has the NHL done everything they can to prevent concussions?

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12-16-2011, 11:28 AM
  #268
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http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/i...he-concussions
LeBrun: Can NHL curb concussions?

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12-16-2011, 03:21 PM
  #269
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But speed is an element of the game that no one is against and virtually everyone is in favor of. How do you tell the paying customer that you're going to implement strategies to reduce it? In fact, quite to the contrary, the rule changes that took place during the lockout have enthused many hockey fans, while at the same time there seems to be this corelation between the increased speed of the game (along with a few other factors, not the least being an increased size of the players) and what we've been seeing as an increased number of concussions.
Bingo. Excellent post. Im absolutely certain the increase in concussions is attributable in large part to the removal of the center ice red-line, combined with several other factors (size of todays players as you mention). Ya its opened up the game, Warp 9 instead of 7, but c'mon here, look at the price thats being tolled?.

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12-16-2011, 08:23 PM
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http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...aiting-science

Ken Dryden calls on Bettman to take more actions to stop concussions

Quote:
What I'd say to him is what I've said here, but also that it's time for him to not be so deferential [to his hockey guys] and respectful on hockey matters, on head injuries, but to take these on in his aggressive Bettmanesque way. ... You can try to deny the problem or try to manage it or do something. And as overwhelming as it seems — just imagine if even most of this is true: the on-ice consequences, the post-career consequences for former NHL and recreational players, the liabilities, etc., etc. — a lot can be done. The changes that may be necessary are not undoable. Few are blaming you. Most know there is so much we don't know and can't know. We don't know the dimensions of the problem. We don't know the dimensions of the answer. But we do know there's a big problem, and we do know there are some things we need to do.
...
You and the NHL can do something. You don't need to lead this effort — in fact, it's better if you don't, to avoid the conflicts of interest that would naturally occur and any perception of them, and so not to hold back the work. But you can acknowledge the seriousness of the problem and your determination to deal seriously with it, now and in the future. One way to signal this might be to help create some ongoing structure that would encourage and generate public discussion, ideas, proposals, and action on head injuries in sports, notably hockey. It could begin with an annual conference, hosted by a university, the first one in Canada, but in subsequent years in the U.S. and Europe. The NHL could be one of the major sponsors. You, and not just your "hockey guys," could be there to show that on this "long run" problem you're in this for the long run, and are willing to puzzle through with others how we can do better.

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12-19-2011, 01:31 AM
  #271
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http://www.calgarysun.com/2011/12/19...not-new-to-nhl

Concussions have been around "forever". We're just more aware of the injuries and better to diagnose.

Quote:
Make no mistake, guys have been playing with concussions for decades. We just didn’t diagnose it properly or worry about it.

What’s new is the cautious approach players and teams are taking to head-shots of any kind. Following a trend set by Sidney Crosby, players and clubs no longer wonder how they can get back in a game or two — they now wonder how they can best make sure they play for five or 10 more years.

They look at the big picture, realizing nothing can be gained by returning too early from any sort of head injury.

And so, as frustrating as it is for fans, teams and the league, players take every precaution possible by sitting on the sideline until post-concussion symptoms are long gone.

The league deserves credit — not criticism — for all the work being done to try limiting head-shots, streamlining equipment, looking at rule changes and preaching education.

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12-19-2011, 01:54 AM
  #272
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I get a little annoyed by people saying concussions have been part of the game for years.

The physics of the game has changed greatly and thus severity of concussions have also increased.

Anyone that has played a contact sport has probably suffered a mild concussion; few have suffered a severe concussion.

With the speed of today's game, the removal of the two line offside, size and overall better shape of the players and last but not least the friggin armour these guys wear, the number of severe concussions have increased.

There is no way that most players of the 60's, 70 etc experienced the severity of concussion players do today.

The old saying "take one for the team" "suck it up" doesn't work today and wouldn't have worked back then if the players then were getting the same symptoms players today have.

One way that would help, a bigger ice surface or bring back the 2 line offside.

I wonder if European hockey is having the same numbers of serious concussions as the NHL. Somehow I doubt it.

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12-19-2011, 10:12 AM
  #273
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I get a little annoyed by people saying concussions have been part of the game for years.

The physics of the game has changed greatly and thus severity of concussions have also increased.

Anyone that has played a contact sport has probably suffered a mild concussion; few have suffered a severe concussion.

With the speed of today's game, the removal of the two line offside, size and overall better shape of the players and last but not least the friggin armour these guys wear, the number of severe concussions have increased.

There is no way that most players of the 60's, 70 etc experienced the severity of concussion players do today.

The old saying "take one for the team" "suck it up" doesn't work today and wouldn't have worked back then if the players then were getting the same symptoms players today have.

One way that would help, a bigger ice surface or bring back the 2 line offside.

I wonder if European hockey is having the same numbers of serious concussions as the NHL. Somehow I doubt it.

I think you're right. I don't remember there being open ice hits back in the 70's. If there were, they were few and far between. The defense especially would just retreat backwards to their own end, not jump in the play nearly as much (excluding Orr), but certainly not try to stand up someone at the blueline or neutral zone. There was a slower tempo to the game in that sense. There were breakaways and odd-men rushes to be sure, but the defense treated these differently. The forwards didn't contribute as much to defense either. Shifts were far longer, which speaks to the general speed of the game being much lower for this and other reasons mentioned above.

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12-19-2011, 12:04 PM
  #274
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I think you're right. I don't remember there being open ice hits back in the 70's. If there were, they were few and far between. The defense especially would just retreat backwards to their own end, not jump in the play nearly as much (excluding Orr), but certainly not try to stand up someone at the blueline or neutral zone. There was a slower tempo to the game in that sense. There were breakaways and odd-men rushes to be sure, but the defense treated these differently. The forwards didn't contribute as much to defense either. Shifts were far longer, which speaks to the general speed of the game being much lower for this and other reasons mentioned above.
Yes, good point. The Short Shift. A contributing factor to the increased speed of the game which began in earnest during the 84-85 season with Keenan in Philly, though Shero had toyed around with it a bit in the early 70's. Emphasizing speed over stamina with 30-40 second shifts, de-emphasizing puck carrying replacing it with puck movement, a quick attack instead of sustained pressure, changing on the fly. Keenan as you know came up through Junior in the OHA where the short shift game was quite common from about the mid-70's onward. At the NHL level, in order for his young Flyers team to compete against a lot of experience, he utilized the short shift and of course was extremely successful at that time. The Oilers adapted quickly as did several other teams, youth replacing experience, skill & stamina. Speed increasing exponentially. This innovation was not without consequences, shortening careers, a Bullet Train straight lining it to where we are today....

Run n' Gun or On the Run, "a quick, sharp, shot" followed by a cacophony of ringing bells & chimes in the head all going off at once. Speed kills.


Last edited by Killion: 12-19-2011 at 03:07 PM.
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12-19-2011, 02:35 PM
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Injektilo
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http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2011/1...ome-to-an-end/

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But ending careers is the price of avoiding more Boogaards. Concussions will always happen in hockey. We can punish head hits, and we are. We can develop safer equipment, and we should. But there will still be concussions, and they will still affect players unequally. Some guys will never get one, others will get several, and for those unlucky ones, yes, their careers will be over before we might like.
And that’s okay. The end of a career is not the end of the world. It is not a great tragedy. It is a job transition. An NHL player whose career is tragically, prematurely, sadly ended by concussion problems is still a young rich guy with his whole lovely life ahead of him. If Chris Pronger can’t play again, that sucks for the Flyers, but the dude got to play pro hockey for decades, become one of the greatest defensemen of his era, screw over the entire population of Edmonton, win a Cup and make, conservatively speaking, 78 bajillion dollars. He had a great run. It’s over now. To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven and now the long winter of Pronger is over and it’s time for him to figure out who he is in spring. I would wish him good luck, but the fact is the man has already been as lucky as a human being can be.

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