Blog Entry

Kariya hangs up skates, comments on concussions

Posted on: June 29, 2011 4:15 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 4:30 pm
 

After a season spent entirely on the sidelines because of repeated concussions, Paul Kariya announced his retirement on Wednesday.

The 15-year career of Kariya came to a screeching halt when he began to have serious concussion issues late in his career with the St. Louis Blues. In making his retirement known, Kariya had some terse words about the approach to concussions and head injuries in the NHL given to the Globe and Mail.

“The thing that I worry about,” Kariya said in an interview, “is that you’ll get a guy who is playing with a concussion, and he gets hit, and he dies at centre ice. Can you imagine what would happen to the league if a guy dies at centre ice?”

Kariya said that if the NHL wants to get serious about reducing the number of concussions in the game, it needs to introduce harsher penalties, in the same way it did to eliminate the bench-clearing brawls that were so prevalent in the 1970s and 1980s, but are completely absent from the game now.

“If you want to get rid of it, I’m a believer that you don’t go after the employees, you go after the employers,” said Kariya. “The first concussion I had, on a brutal, blindside hit, the guy got a two-game suspension. That was in 1996. The last one, from (the Buffalo Sabres’ Patrick) Kaleta, was exactly the same play, and he doesn’t get anything.

“If you start at 10-game suspensions and go to 20, that sends a message to the players. But if you start fining the owners and suspending the coach, then it’s out of the game.”

Kariya went on to say that every hit that ever knocked him out came as a result of an illegal hit.

“Every single one,” he reiterated. “I’m not saying you’re going to ever eliminate concussions completely because it’s a contact sport, but if you get those out of the game, then you eliminate a big part of the problem.

“A two-game suspension? That’s not enough of a deterrent.”

Kariya, the fourth overall selection by the Mighty Ducks in the 1993 draft, was an electric player early in his career, recording 99 points or more on three occasions, including the 1995-96 season when he had a career-high 50 goals and posted 58 assists. He was named an All-Star seven times in his career, most recently in 2003.

"I would like to thank all those who have been part of so many great memories -- teammates, coaches, team management and staff," Kariya said.

He last played for the Blues in 2009-10, scoring 18 goals with 25 assists in 75 games.

Hopefully what happened to Kariya doesn't become commonplace. He was essentially told by doctors he had to retire as he was just never able to recover from the brain traumas.

-- Brian Stubits

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl on Twitter or @BrianStubitsNHL

Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 8:08 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:23 pm
 

Kariya hangs up skates, comments on concussions

There's absolutely not actually an enhanced evaluate of what someone is than what he does when he's positively totally free of cost to choose.



Since: Jul 19, 2011
Posted on: July 20, 2011 6:02 am
 

Kariya hangs up skates, comments on concussions

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Since: Apr 16, 2009
Posted on: June 30, 2011 10:37 am
 

Kariya hangs up skates, comments on concussions

I'm sorry that he's had to suffer with head injuries....but, just because you can skate and shoot doesn't mean you can play in the NHL. Hitting has and hopefully always will be a part of the sport. If your body isn't built to take the hits, you shouldn't be playing in the NHL.  If a football player can't take a tackle, but he can run and catch he won't make it in the NFL.  The blindside hits need to go, agreed, the dirty hits need to go agreed again.  But, if you get hit clean and still get a concussion, then your not made for the NHL.  I don't want to see the NHL become a nightly puckshoot.  I personally don't care for the skate around puckshoot game. 



Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: June 30, 2011 9:44 am
 

Kariya hangs up skates, comments on concussions

So, you want to eliminate head shots? Bring back the bench clearing brawls.



Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: June 30, 2011 9:33 am
 

Kariya hangs up skates, comments on concussions

stayed about 4 years too long



Since: Aug 10, 2007
Posted on: June 30, 2011 9:29 am
 

Kariya hangs up skates, comments on concussions

Who cares...Paul Kariya was one of the biggest jerks in Hockey towards fans. At one point he was the only player on the ducks that would park in the tunnel and ignore all fans before or after the game. Sux you are hurt, but Karma is a bitch!!!


Stay classy, moron.




Since: Jun 27, 2011
Posted on: June 30, 2011 8:23 am
 

Take off the helmets...

Sounds like reverse psychology but just like football the more protective equipment the players wear the more aggressive they are becoming..yes they are bigger and stronger than in the past but when players have no fear of hurting themselves because of the equipment they are more likely to use the equipment to their benefit and believe they are invincible to injury. If a player is not as protected they will be more cautious of unrestrained contact and it would help cut down on unecessary hits. I never saw a puck give anyone a concussion and that is the main reason helmets were made mandatory, to protect a player from gettin hit in the heaad with the puck. It will never happen but it was just a thought.




Since: Jan 16, 2011
Posted on: June 30, 2011 7:51 am
 

Kariya hangs up skates, comments on concussions

You're an idiot, hedake40. Kariya didn't sign your jersey so now you're glad his brain is mush. Get a grip clown. Kariya is the greatest college hockey player of all time.

42-1-2




Since: Aug 19, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2011 7:23 am
 

Kariya hangs up skates, comments on concussions

Who cares...Paul Kariya was one of the biggest jerks in Hockey towards fans. At one point he was the only player on the ducks that would park in the tunnel and ignore all fans before or after the game. Sux you are hurt, but Karma is a bitch!!!


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