FanPost

NHL Concussion Policy/Kim Johnsson Hate

Looking at the NHL concussion policy, I of course started wondering about Kim Johnsson.  Whether or not he has a career after this season is becoming questionable and there are rumors abound about him.  So here are a few things about the concussion rule and then some hate directed towards Kim Johnsson (not by me though).

According to everyone, the NHL is the best at regulating and assessing concussions.  Preventing them, obviously that has been up for debate recently with the slew of head shots we've recently seen.

Currently, the NHL has players do a baseline test during training camp.  Pretty much this is measuring each player's personal "normal" brain levels.  Obviously, Toews would have different brain activity than say...EAGER (Thanks to CNS for that one.  Still continues to crack me up.)

If a player receives a concussion there are normally a few symptoms that are recognizable.  Unless you are Ben Eager.  He got a concussion this year over in Helsinki, but no one noticed till after the flight home (a concussion no-no).  In defense of Hawk doctors and staff, there was no 'defining' hit that was noticeable as concussion causing and it was Ben Eager.  Anyways, when the physical symptoms disappear, the player must take similar tests.  Most are memory and motor related.  In some cases, an EEG or brain scan is given to see if the activity in the brain is also normal.  In the NHL, a player must have a doctor sign off on ALL of the tests.  A player can be free of the headaches, nausea, or light sensitivity, but not be cleared to play since his test results are not matching up with what the player had at the beginning of the year for their 'baseline' test.  They have become much more stringent about these tests when dealing with people with a history of head injuries.  Especially since Boston University conducted a few tests on a brain from a former NFL player after he passed away. 

Now over to Johnsson.  He has had a history of concussions.  Including one instance where he came back too early from one and left in the middle of a game.  In 2005-2006, with the Flyers, he had a "head injury,"  it was diagnosed as a concussion a few days later.  He missed three games and came back.  It was during that game he came back that he experienced dizzyness while on the ice.  He was not seen for the rest of that season, 31 games.  He then missed each game (6 total) of the playoffs the Flyers had against the Sabres.  (That was the series Brian Campbell killed R.J. Umburger by the way.)  Off to Minnesota he went then.  He was pretty concussion free, until the playoffs in 2007.  He missed the elimination game.  It was called a "head injury."  What happened to him with the Flyers is eeriely similar to what seems has happened to him this year.  Then I went to check his wikipedia page, since Dirt recently plugged wikipedia.  Here's a highlighted portion from Johnsson's page.

On February 12, 2010, Johnsson and Nick Leddy were traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for Cam Barker. He then decided he no longer wished to play for The Blackhawks. There was no injury, but he just stopped playing in March 2010. In Chicago, he is believed to be dead. He will surely be traded to another team, because he played for like one month before quitting, and has done nothing for The Chicago Blackhawks.

Here is his page, but who knows when that will get changed/updated/validated.

I lean towards this being an actual concussion.  Concussions don't happen from bone-jarring hits all the time.  Like Eager, he may have just caught one to the head, not even really noticing anything till later.  If he 'quit' the Hawks, the media would be all over that, they would have loved to jump on it and start questioning the chemistry/composure of the Hawks' locker room and then turned it into a conversation about Jay Cutler being a bad quarterback because he gives shitty interviews to them and has a bad locker room presence.  There's no way the Hawks could convince the writers in this town to bury something like that.  There'd be missing beat writers or something.  Even with Johnsson out, he still serves some purpose, freeing up cap after the year is over.  Cannot fault the Hawks for sending Barker away for him.  Plus, that deal wasn't just Johnsson, maybe Nick Leddy will turn into an NHL hockey player in a few years.

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