Blog Entry

Caps' Laich has heard enough about concussions

Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:46 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 3:50 pm

By Brian Stubits

There are a few ongoing hot topics in the NHL these days, one of them is the concussion debate. It was already a big conversation before Sidney Crosby was sidelined with one, but since the superstar has been out for 10 months and counting, it has seemed to be an even bigger deal.

The whole idea of the concussion movement, for lack of a better term, is to protect the players. We're talking about something that has proven to be a very serious danger. Paul Kariya went on a bit of a tirade concerning concussions when announcing his retirement. After all, they shortened his career. In football, there have been high school players who died from concussions.

It isn't hyperbole when you hear people say this is life and death discussion. It truly can be.

But Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich doesn't much care for it (Washington Times) and has heard just about enough.

“I really don't care about that awareness stuff. To be honest I'm sick of hearing all this talk about concussions and about the quiet room,” Laich said. “This is what we love to do. Guys love to play, they love to compete, they want to be on the ice.

“How do you take that away from somebody? We accept that there's going to be dangers when we play this game and know that every night that you get dressed. Sometimes it just feels like we're being babysat a little too much. We're grown men and we should have a little bit of say in what we want to do.”

Teammate Mike Green, who missed a good portion of last season because of a concussion, basically echoed Laich's standpoint.

“You've got to make that call. I think at times the protocol for testing for concussions -- they're just tests, they're not exactly how you feel,” Green said.

I'm one of the first people to support people's rights to do something, even if they are endangering themselves. Ever see the shots from the beach during a hurricane where they show a couple of people surfing while the reporter begs people to stay away from the beach? I say go right ahead. The police shouldn't arrest them. Warn them they are putting their lives at risk and if they still want to do it, that's their right.

So in that way, I support what Laich has to say. I agree that a player should be able to make this decision on his own. But not the day of. A player in the moment probably isn't wise enough to make a rational decision on the matter. It's like a criminal trying to enter a plea when they are deemed incompetant. A court won't take it until the person is aware of what they are being charged with.

But where Laich loses me is not caring about awareness stuff, the discussion and quiet rooms. It's an important conversation and players need to be aware of the dangers and procedures. You know the old saying keep your friends close and your enemies closer? This is sort of the same idea. You need to know the ins and outs of concussions before you can make a truly informed decision on the matter, on your own health.

Hockey is a tough game, a sport filled with machismo. We know that. Guys still fight bare knuckles and tough out injuries all the time. It's not a sport where showing any perceived weakness is something a player wants to do. So I get where this is coming from.

I feel that what Laich and other players want to do with the information at their disposal is up to them. But the conversation is too important to tune out.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2011 1:37 pm

Caps' Laich has heard enough about concussions

you want to cut down on concussions....simple...take padding away...the body armor goes away and i promise most of the problems do too...when your clad in 2h pounds of protection you develop a sense of take that away and you feel vulnerable..which makes you lees likely to take shots at people because you yourself might be on the recieving end of one...the game is constantly evolving new technology to better protect players...avoid injury and make the game safer...and in a perverse way all these improvements have done is promote fringe hits and stickwork.

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: October 15, 2011 8:45 am

Caps' Laich has heard enough about concussions

A full face guard may prevent some injuries but concussions will not be affected or prevented by them.

Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: October 15, 2011 3:07 am

Caps' Laich has heard enough about concussions

If players (not just crosby) are worried about thier well being the why do they not first protect themselves.... Wear a full face helmet, nothing in the rules saying you need open face. Not saying that prevents  all injuries, but a lot of the injuries are due to contact to the face area...... just saying

Since: Oct 14, 2011
Posted on: October 14, 2011 8:44 pm

Caps' Laich has heard enough about concussions

Finally someone said what most of the players are thinking, no one wants to answer questions about Crosby and concussions.  Concussions happen in contact sports and they have in hockey for over a hundred years, just because the NHLs golden ticket is hurt doesnt mean the whole league has to change.  I love how all of this comes from him when he was legally hit anyway, he is 5'10" Hedman is 6'7" he hit him into the boards and crunched his head because of size difference that is not his fault.

 Why not work on making a better helmet, these are NHL players they can afford composites instead of plastics and custom linnings

Since: Feb 13, 2011
Posted on: October 14, 2011 8:35 pm

Caps' Laich has heard enough about concussions

I agree that they need to find a balance between handling these guys like babies and letting them do their thing.

As for the author, you might want to re-think your stance on stormchasers. That's fine that you support people filming storms from the beach but don't you realize the reason they SHOULDN'T do it is they're putting the first responders in danger?

It is not just themselves who are at risk, if that were the case then by all means, knock yourself out. But there are people who's job it is to protect them from their own stupidity.

And sure, first responders know more than anyone that being in dangerous spots is part of their job but to be placed in danger entirely because of someone's blatant stupidity in another story.

Since: May 27, 2009
Posted on: October 14, 2011 8:35 pm

Caps' Laich has heard enough about concussions

Whats with the surfing on the beach? Let them do it, its their problem...sure, until someone trying to rescue them gets killed. And who pays for the cost of rescuing idiots when they take their life in their hands.
Maybe the concussion conversation is a little anoying...but I pay big money to watch a hockey game. Are the tickets cheaper because stars are injured with brain damage? I say protect the players, and if Brooks Laich doesn't have any good ideas, then how about shutting up. There is a lot more to it than everyone taking their own risks.

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: October 14, 2011 6:04 pm

Caps' Laich has heard enough about concussions

That's great Brooks.   What's with the guys from the Washington lockerroom always willing to air out their thoughts?    Laich should take it up with the NHLPA, don't complain about the awareness stuff either way, especially if the awareness stuff is specifically targeted at somebody like him that hasn't had a concussion as a player.    &nbs
p;  Now if there are serious gripes about the protocol, get the union on board and deal with it that way.      Nothing like a guy whining about the concussion issue who hasn't had a concussion. 

I agree with him that the players should make a choice to play, but hasn't the players choosing not to address the issue led in part to how they deal with it now?   Besides, I think he's failed to realize it also has to do with the league. gms, and the owners protecting their investments and limited resources within a hard cap too.    You might think somebody who just signed a monster deal might have considered that before complaining.    He should have just trash talked BB or Semin instead, would have sounded more intelligent.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or