Recently, the NFL passed a rule that allows "concussion spotters"—who aren't affiliated with the team—to directly contact officials to ask for a stoppage in play. These medical timeouts help prevent situations where players take a hit, aren't able to immediately leave the field, and end up staying in the game after potentially suffering a concussion. Sports Illustrated's Allan Muir argues that the NHL should follow the a similar protocol.
Muir points to the second round of the playoffs when Chicago's Corey Crawford appeared dazed after taking a slapshot to the helmet.
Think back to last season's playoffs, when the Blackhawks' Corey Crawford appeared loopy after taking a puck to the mask late in the third period of a game against the Wild. He finished the game, which Chicago won, 4-1, but seemed dazed for several minutes. If he ever was tested for a head injury it was only after the game ... and only after the problem could have been compounded by another shot to the head.
He also talks about issues with the NHL's current method of handling potential concussions and acknowledges that differences between the leagues could prevent the NFL's protocol from translating over to hockey.
Unless the player is completely incapacitated, odds are he's going to argue that he's ready and able to return to the ice to help his team; that's especially true if the injured player is young and clinging to a spot on the roster, or if he already has a history of injuries. Because the examining physician is employed by the club, there's the potential for a conflict-of-interest that could influence the decision of whether to allow a player to return to the ice.
It would be nice if the league could employ truly independent medical officials, but the logistics are daunting. It's one thing to ask a doctor to give up 16 Sundays. It's something else entirely to require a medical professional to make a commitment of a few days a week for a seven-month season.
You can read the rest of Muir's argument over at SI. [Sports Illustrated]
The Score named five guys ready to break out in 2015-16, and among those players is none other than Valeri Nichushkin.
The 20-year-old scored 14 goals in 79 contests as a rookie two seasons ago, and he could easily surpass those numbers as a healthy member of the revamped Stars.
Nichushkin doesn't have much competition at right wing (soon-to-be 32-year-old Ales Hemsky, Patrick Eaves, and Colton Sceviour), and he could explode if grouped with either Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn or Jason Spezza and Patrick Sharp.
Details on the other four are right this way. [The Score]
If you haven't already stocked up on single-game tickets for the upcoming season, you better get to work.
Just in case you missed it, Erin and Taylor put together a Dallas Stars from A to Z article over on Puck Daddy. It's jam-packed with history, pictures, and fun, so get to reading (or re-reading). [Puck Daddy]
If you're fuzzy on the salary cap situation for the Stars, you can brush up on your numbers over at the Dallas Morning News. [DMN]
The NHLPA has filed a grievance on behalf of Mike Richards contesting the termination of his contract by the LA Kings.— NHLPA (@NHLPA) August 10, 2015
Both Colorado and Anaheim are trotting out new third jerseys for 2015-16, and Icethetics has a sneak peak. [Icethetics]
Puck Daddy has rounded up the best Photoshop creations. [Puck Daddy]
Top 2016 draft prospect Auston Matthews signed a one-year contract to play in Switzerland, but don't expect his decision to start a trend. [National Post]
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's marriage may be over, but Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens and his wife Jen are the only Bennifer you need. Jen—also a goalie—just signed a contract with the NWHL's New York Riveters. [Sportsnet]
And finally, Jason Demers was kind enough to provide us with a little offseason entertainment. At former teammate Devin Setoguchi's wedding, he—along with Chicago's Kris Versteeg—showed off his dancing skills. Warning: You can't unsee this.
(Bonus: Here are five cringe-inducing hockey/music crossovers, just in case you'd like to pack in a few more strange videos into your Wednesday morning.)