2011 In Hockey, The Year Of The Head

Friday, 12.30.2011 / 1:31 PM
X
Share with your Friends


Razor With An Edge Blog
2011 In Hockey, The Year Of The Head

The year was permeated and punctuated with affairs of the head, from the face of the modern NHL, Sidney Crosby to the mental demons of a trio of tough guys, to intelligent changes in the name of player safety.

Examining the Brain

Families of deceased former NHLers Rick Martin, Bob Probert and Reggie Flemming donated their loved ones brains to BU Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. Findings were somewhat troubling yet illuminating.

Shutting Down a Super Star

Crosby was first injured at the Winter Classic, then absorbed another hit a couple games later and was pulled from the Pens lineup for the remainder of last season and the first two months of this season. After briefly returning he is again out of their lineup with no return date in sight.

New Rinkside Protocol

Teams adopted a more refined post head trauma test. We heard the phrase 'quiet room' and watched as player after player - after player was diagnosed with 'concussion-like symptoms.

The Three Suicides That Stunned Hockey

In disturbing succession Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak all took their own lives. All three made a living in hockey with their fists more than their sticks and their deaths were immediately linked because of that - a premature conclusion most would state.

The Department of Player Safety

The league emerged from a sort of 'Dark Ages' in regards to player discipline especially when the subject of hitting was on the table and in particular hits to the head. Brendan Shanahan was put in charge and he has wielded a suspension hammer in tandem with the power of video. He's like a scar faced, no nonsense Carson Daley setting up video clips on NHL, not TRL.

Friendly Bumpers

Forced by a violent head-to-turnbuckle collision involving Max Pacioretty, the league altered the configuration of where glass ends to a curved, forgiving transition area. Smart, and overdue.

Broadcast Headed in Better Direction

The hiring of John Collins to head up the NHL's Broadcast Dept. was a fabulous one. He comes from the NFL where they seem to be doing ok. The massive NBC deal plus a gaggle of International rights contracts have come under his watch. Smart man. Full head of hair.

Concussions

It's not just hockey, pro sports like soccer and football have also seen a disturbing escalation in the number of players sidelined with what is essentially a bruised brain. But hockey seems to be magnified, probably because it's the only sport that allows fighting and it's the only one played in a confined area. How deep has this 'epidemic' become? Well at one point in late December the league's top point scorer, it's top goal scorer and it's best overall player were all out of their respective lineups due to concussions.

The Messier Project

Mark Messier has helped develop a helmet that claims to "displace energy within seconds". The problem at the NHL level seems to be that the helmet doesn't pass the "mirror test", as in, it doesn't look good on. Fashion 1, Intelligence and Safety no score.

With a half a season of hockey to be played and a new CBA to be hammered out by the Fall of 2012 I hope and trust we're headed in the right direction on all of this.

To all of you, I wish a happy and prosperous New Year...and a January 1 headache that is much more manageable than ones scores of NHLers had, have, or will have in the coming year due to their chosen vocation, and an errant elbow or two.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 76 47 22 7 222 213 101
2 NSH 75 46 21 8 214 180 100
3 STL 74 46 21 7 226 182 99
4 CHI 73 44 23 6 207 167 94
5 MIN 74 42 25 7 211 183 91
6 VAN 74 43 27 4 212 199 90
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 74 37 23 14 199 184 88
9 CGY 74 40 27 7 217 195 87
10 DAL 74 36 28 10 232 236 82
11 SJS 74 36 30 8 207 210 80
12 COL 74 34 28 12 200 206 80
13 EDM 74 21 40 13 177 254 55
14 ARI 75 23 44 8 158 249 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 74 27 44 -4 71
T. Seguin 64 33 34 -1 67
J. Spezza 74 16 40 -4 56
J. Klingberg 57 10 27 7 37
C. Eakin 70 17 17 -2 34
A. Goligoski 74 4 30 0 34
T. Daley 61 16 17 -10 33
A. Hemsky 68 11 21 -7 32
S. Horcoff 70 11 17 7 28
V. Fiddler 72 12 14 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 33 14 10 .908 2.82
J. Enroth 14 26 2 .900 3.28
 
#LONESTARSSTATE GAMEDAY FAN

DallasStars.com is the official Web site of DSE Hockey Club, L.P.  The Stars name and logos are registered trademarks of the NHL and the Stars. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 DSE Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Corporate Partnerships | Contact UsPrivacy Policy | AdChoices | Job Opportunities | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map | Find us on Google+