Thursday, January 20, 2011

A player's guide to recovering from concussions

With the growing number of NHL players, and all professional and amateur athletes suffering from concussions, I thought it would be helpful if I offered advice to NHL players, helping them decide when to return to action after their injury has subsided.

- If you're name is Marc Savard, do not miraculously recover from your concussion because you see the Pittsburgh Penguins as your next opponent. Take the extra time to rest and hope that Shawn Thornton and Matt Cooke go at it.

- Now that Chris Pronger is back from his injury, you might want to reconsider speeding up your recovery with the Philadelphia Flyers on the upcoming schedule.

- If you happen to be David Booth, well, just keep your head up.

- Not to name names, but just because you've been injured with a concussion doesn't give you any special rights to complain to the men in stripes when you come back.

- Henrik Lundqvist is not a human punching bag. He does have feelings, and he'll let them out if you challenge him to.

- If you ever feel your symptoms coming back, run to Colin Campbell's office and claim that you were hit from a blindside angle by David Steckel.

- If you were recently suspended for injuring a Detroit Red Wing and you play for the Calgary Flames, and you can't reach Darryl Sutter, keep trying, he'll answer eventually. Jay Feaster won't last forever.

- If you play for the New Jersey Devils, battle through it. If you go down for a significant amount of time, you probably won't be able to get traded out of New Jersey.

- Unlike New Jersey, if you are a Toronto Maple Leaf, you will be taught to work for next year. They haven't needed to rush guys back for April in a while.

- If you happen to be in the Phoenix market and you notice that you aren't attracing much attention with your injury, it's nothing personal. Unless your known name is "BizNasty2point0," you probably aren't getting a lot of attention anyway.

- Having a concussion does not entitle you to free ice cream...just saying.

- There is a difference between missing the All-Star game due to a concussion and boycotting case anyone was wondering.

- If you're Sidney Crosby, you might be under a great deal of pressure to get back into games from your buddy, Gary Bettman. Don't listen to him for 2 reasons: a) you'll get under his skin (again) and b) his ploy of injuring Evgeni Malkin just to get you back sooner shouldn't work. Remember, you have the Devils tonight.

- If you're a goalie, you're better off getting back ASAP. There's enough decent goalies that you might be out a job by time you get back.

- If you happen to be a player such as Alex Kovalev and you suffer a concussion, relax, the season's more than halfway done, and you won't have to worry about the playoffs anyway.

- Just because you're in a slump offensively doesn't mean you're automatically injured. Hey, you never know, you might come back and score 4 goals tonight...

- If you are missing the All-Star Game due to a concussion and your name is not Sidney Crosby, don't worry, nobody will miss you...or even notice.

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