Two concussions, not within a year of each other. It’s an absolute shame that this happened. Especially to a goalie of this caliber. It’s a shame when any high-end talent is cut down by injuries, and in hockey, there are countless examples of careers being shortened or ruined due to concussions. Paul Kariya, Eric Lindros, Pat Lafontaine, as well as many others were forced away from the game they loved to preserve their health. And unfortunately, it seems as though Corey Crawford could be joining that list.
If this is the end, Crawford, then from a fan. Thank you. Thank you for everything you accomplished in the Blackhawks sweater. You did what greats such as Glenn Hall, Tony Esposito, and Eddie Belfour couldn’t here. You brought two Stanley cups to this city. Although the early years in this market which transformed from a hockey doormat into a hockey hotbed were shaky. You rose like a phoenix above all the criticism and managed what any hockey team asks of their goalie. You gave the team a chance to win night in and night out. So from this sportswriter and fan of the team, thank you.
What Can the NHL Do to Battle CTE?
Now, given the NHL’s current battle with the damaging effects of CTE and other neurological disorders, this scenario begs a simple question. What can the sports leagues of the world do to combat this without compromising the integrity and physical nature of contact sports? How do you please the old boys who appreciate the big hits without compromising player safety? How can prevent future health problems in your players? Well, I’ve got two possibilities that not only will increase goodwill with the viewing public but also should make various player’s associations happy.
Option 1: Create some form of a retirement program for players after they’ve retired.
Establish a minimum amount of years played (let’s say for example… four) and provide health care to retired players. This would be rather expensive and would take a lot of negotiation with companies and even governments to accomplish, but the positive PR you’ll garner will be more than worth it.
Option 2: Have consistent discipline for dirty plays and establish an expulsion system for repeat offenders.
We all know that even in a perfect NHL with no dirty players accidents do happen. So the rules for intent/non-intentional contact must be established and consistently called. The game is much cleaner than it was in the 1970s, but there are still plenty of dirty players in the league (Brad Marchand I’m looking at you.) So having consistency in discipline would do wonders for the game as a whole.
What do you think the NHL can do to combat CTE? Feel free to tweet @LWOSports to give your take on the situation.
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