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Stargazing: Nieuwendyk on Concussion Committee, Niemi in Goal Tonight?

Joe Nieuwendyk has been placed on a committee with Steve Yzerman, Rob Blake and Brendan Shanahan to follow up on Gary Bettman's proposal yesterday and lead the charge against concussions. Somehow.

As fans of a team that has suffered this kind of loss this year we know how frustrating the uncertainty of the injury can be for the player, and how maddening it is when nothing is done about it. As Brad RIchards said, the only part of his body Sami Pahlsson made contact with was his head, and the NHL didn't even score it as a hit, much less anything else.

Razor has some good thoughts on the subject. Here's a small excerpt..

If you take a look at every roster you'll find 2 or 3 guys who play between 2 and 10 minutes per game. When these individuals hit the ice they are expected to provide "energy" which translates into "run the crap out of anyone in the other teams colors for 45 seconds, then get off". When did that grand coaching philosophy arrive? And why does it thrive?

And add to that the fact every team also has at least one player who can contribute with the puck on his stick but is celebrated for his physicality. For the Stars it's Steve Ott. For the other teams it's guys named Brown and Clutterbuck and Torres, etc. I just wonder what percentage of that 40% increase comes from this bottom 13% of the roster?

And if that small proportion makes up a large chunk, then what impact on injury totals would trimming rosters down to 3 lines and an extra forward have on things?

The problem with that is it might eliminate Krys Barch's job and a good deal of fighting as well, but it's definitely an interesting idea (that the NHLPA wouldn't go for).

Read the rest at Razor's blog.


  • says Mike Ribeiro and Stephane Robidas play particularly well against the San Jose Sharks, though Marc Crawford calls it a coincidence. []
  • When the Vancouver Canucks beat the Wild in regulation last night the just might have broken the will of Minnesota, or least their fans by the sound of it. It's that horrible feeling we're trying to stave off as long as possible. [SB Nation]
  • If you enter Steve Ott's name into this "NHL Wheel of Justice" the explanation will come up "we also took into consideration that Steve Ott is a goon," so it's nice to know he's getting individual attention from their programming like that. [NHL Wheel of Justice]
  • It was thought Niittymaki would get the start in Dallas but after Niemi was pulled last night it looks like the #1 will attempt to redeem himself in Dallas tonight. [DMN]
  • Canadians are protesting the league and hits to the head in Montreal in front of what will be a completely sold out money making machine full of people who are going to come no matter what happens with hits to the head. [Puck Daddy]
  • If the Stars lose tonight their chances of making the playoffs drop 10% (or more depending on what happens elsewhere) and they'll have to play well over .500 the rest of the way to have a chance at tie breaking the 8th seed. It's time to win. [Sports Club Stats]