Taking a leaf out of the NFL's book, the NHL will be using concussion spotters at games during the 2015-16 season. The Hockey News' Ken Campbell explained why it's a good idea—and why there's still room for improvement.
To start, here are the specifics on the spotters:
According to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports, the league will introduce spotters at all of its 1,230 games this season whose sole purpose will be to watch for visible signs of concussions and alert training staffs. The NHL will employ two spotters per game, but the actual spotting will largely be done by people who work for the teams. NHL teams will have one designated person both at home and on the road who will be close to the bench watching for players showing signs of concussions.
As Campbell quickly points out, though, there are a few flies in the ointment. First, unlike in the NFL, the spotters aren't entirely independent of teams, and second, the spotters can't pull players out of the game.
Another flaw is that the concussion spotters will not have the authority to pull a player from a game. Their job will be to look for visible signs of a concussion, then alert the training staff, which will then determine the player's status. Teams are no longer so short-sighted that they would allow a player to return to a game who shouldn't, but having someone with no ties to the team and giving him or her the authority to hold a player out would eliminate any possibility of that happening.
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Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn are projected to finished fifth and sixth in the league in scoring, with the usual suspects rounding out the top spots. [TSN]
Stars' first-round pick Denis Gurianov hit the ice in the KHL.
Denis Gurianov in his first KHL game this season: No points, 11:10 of ice time, 3 shots on goal, 3 hits. Played on fourth line.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) September 13, 2015
Over at Today's Slapshot, Carolyn Wilke examines player value in the Central Division, and John Klingberg gets plenty of kudos for the Stars. [Today's Slapshot]
Rich Peverley had a little more to say about his new role with the team and his time in Traverse City, including what he's been keeping an eye on.
"One of the biggest things I've noticed since I focused on face-offs when I played was that a lot of these junior kids have no idea how to take a faceoff," he said. "If you can do the little things, like pay attention to your nutrition, your strength and conditioning, it will go a long way. There are so many facets of the game that you have to be able to be really good at to be a good, honest pro."
You can read more from Pevs at the link. [NHL]
Former Star Derek Roy may have found a new home with the Capitals.
Good news for hockey fans in Las Vegas: Everything is going according to plan for an expansion team. [LA Times]
Oilers fans held their collective breath when this happened over the weekend...
Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) September 12, 2015
…which prompted a discussion over what, if anything, Edmonton should do to shield their budding superstar. [Sportsnet]
And finally, a University of Virginia goalie—perhaps somehow knowing what was coming for the school's football team—chugged a beer on the ice and was promptly asked to leave the game. Cheers. [The Score]