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Johan Franzen is still struggling.....

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I agree the game is being played at a more extreme level, and there are deleterious consequences to that despite it being better or more entertaining (IMO) on balance.  I simply disagree with your basic premise that the game was more open -> less concussions.  I don't think it was notably more open, and even if it were, I don't think that was the driver for fewer concussions.

I think the game is being played much more quickly and at a much more higher developed skill level now.  As a consequence, plays are both created and shut down at a much higher rate than was ever the case.  In other words, seams both open up and close more frequently / quickly -> which leads to more hits and those hits disburse more energy than was the case.  I think that is what leads to more concussion issues.

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27 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I agree the game is being played at a more extreme level, and there are deleterious consequences to that despite it being better or more entertaining (IMO) on balance.  I simply disagree with your basic premise that the game was more open -> less concussions.

I don't think I meant to make that direct contention as the main point - I initially agreed with MSCs argument for the reasons there are more concussions - I think it has mostly to do better equipment/helmets allowing guys to play faster/hit harder. I'm thinking more along the line that the equipment has had a lot to do with both in the increase in concussion and changes in the way the game is played - that they are probably more correlates of the same cause rather than cause and effect.

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I think the change in equipment leads to faster play, but that has more to do with better skates and better shoulder pads.  I think guys would still try to hit hard even if they didn't have helmets.

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15 minute documentary about fomer Red Wing and #1 overall draft pick Joe Murphy who is now homeless in Kenora, Ontario.    This is very sad.    And this could be the result of a serious head injury.

 

 

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On 8/23/2018 at 7:12 PM, Motor City Sonics said:

15 minute documentary about fomer Red Wing and #1 overall draft pick Joe Murphy who is now homeless in Kenora, Ontario.    This is very sad.    And this could be the result of a serious head injury.

That video has been pulled. Here's a link to the TSN video: https://www.tsn.ca/video/tsn-original-finding-murph~1466368

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For those who have not seen the video,  Trevor Kidd had people tell him that Joe Murphy was homeless and living in Kenora, Ontario (near Winnipeg, about 2 hours from where Kidd lives).   Kidd, with a film crew, went to Kenora and found Joe walking the streets.   He went and asked if an interview was okay and Joe said yes.    He's unrecognizable.   He's clearly suffering from some kind of mental illness or drug problem and it's shocking to see him.   He took at least one very hard hit to the head (courtesy of his ex-teammate Shawn Burr) and his family said he was different after that.    After the 15 minute video the TSN host said that Kidd, who hardly knew Joe, frequently visits him to bring him clothes and food and several current and former players have reached out to TSN offering help for Joe.    I hope he takes it.   I hope he gets in touch with his family.    Sounds like years ago, not long after he retired, he reached out to the NHL for help and they basically told him that since he's retired he was out of luck and I totally believe him because I know another former NHL player who was told by the league that they couldn't help with his many knee surgeries because he was no longer active.     

 

Joe was a part owner of the minor league team in Albuquerque (New Mexico Scorpions).  Our radio station had several people from Michigan and Minnesota working there so we had a great relationship with the new team and went to games frequently and knew all the players and personnel.   I sat with Joe's father Pat for most of a game once and he had a lot of great stories about Joe.   This was at the time Joe was going through some strange intestinal illness where he'd lost about 30 pounds and his career was in jeopardy.   A year later I went on a road trip to St. Louis to see a Wings playoff game.   The Wings eliminated the Blues that night and we wound up in some bar where a bunch of Blues players were.  Met Chris Pronger, who was super nice to us Wings fans (local Windsor guy) and talked to Joe about meeting his dad and he was really,  nice asked me if his dad talked my ear off.   

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On 8/26/2018 at 5:16 PM, Motor City Sonics said:

For those who have not seen the video,  Trevor Kidd had people tell him that Joe Murphy was homeless and living in Kenora, Ontario (near Winnipeg, about 2 hours from where Kidd lives).   Kidd, with a film crew, went to Kenora and found Joe walking the streets.   He went and asked if an interview was okay and Joe said yes.    He's unrecognizable.   He's clearly suffering from some kind of mental illness or drug problem and it's shocking to see him.   He took at least one very hard hit to the head (courtesy of his ex-teammate Shawn Burr) and his family said he was different after that.    After the 15 minute video the TSN host said that Kidd, who hardly knew Joe, frequently visits him to bring him clothes and food and several current and former players have reached out to TSN offering help for Joe.    I hope he takes it.   I hope he gets in touch with his family.    Sounds like years ago, not long after he retired, he reached out to the NHL for help and they basically told him that since he's retired he was out of luck and I totally believe him because I know another former NHL player who was told by the league that they couldn't help with his many knee surgeries because he was no longer active.     

 

Joe was a part owner of the minor league team in Albuquerque (New Mexico Scorpions).  Our radio station had several people from Michigan and Minnesota working there so we had a great relationship with the new team and went to games frequently and knew all the players and personnel.   I sat with Joe's father Pat for most of a game once and he had a lot of great stories about Joe.   This was at the time Joe was going through some strange intestinal illness where he'd lost about 30 pounds and his career was in jeopardy.   A year later I went on a road trip to St. Louis to see a Wings playoff game.   The Wings eliminated the Blues that night and we wound up in some bar where a bunch of Blues players were.  Met Chris Pronger, who was super nice to us Wings fans (local Windsor guy) and talked to Joe about meeting his dad and he was really,  nice asked me if his dad talked my ear off.   

That's such a shame. The NHL has a long way to go in the compassion department. Not the players, but those in charge of the league. 

I'd forgotten that Murphy left the league on such a strange note- getting injured while in an altercation outside a bar while with the capitals. He sued for workers comp because he was traveling on team business, but lost the suit. He never played hockey again. Even back then you have to wonder if he had some mental issues going on. 

This whole homeless situation is one of those stories that, had it broke when Mike Ilitch was still alive, I believe he would have done something to try to get Joe some help. While I have nothing against Chris Ilitch (seems like a fine guy), Mike drafted Joe and had history with him. I like to think he would have tried to help him. I would like to see the wings make some sort of public outreach to try to help him. 

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I don't see how anyone would allow their kids to play hockey or football. The brain is not something you play around with. 

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My sons play (they are 14 and 16), and to answer the question:

a. concussions weren't nearly the concern when they started (10 years ago) as they are now, and 

b. the likelihood of anyone developing that level of concussion issue is more rare than making the NHL.  I have coached at one time or another at least one hundred kids, probably watched a thousand.  Some of those players were quite good, but I don't think any of them are going to sniff a D1 team or a major junior team, let alone a pro team, let alone the NHL.  Thinking about that helps me keep things in perspective.

Concussions are a risk one takes when they play.  My younger son also plays soccer, and there are concussion risks with soccer as well, yet it isn't talked about.  In any event, I feel at some point you have to trust the individual will quit playing if they get multiple concussions. If my sons are concussed multiple times while they are a child, I'll pull them from the sport.

But they haven't and they really enjoy playing.  Hockey is super fun, so I don't want to take it from them unless there is a long term risk, and absent multiple concussions, I don't think there is that risk.

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1 hour ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

My sons play (they are 14 and 16), and to answer the question:

a. concussions weren't nearly the concern when they started (10 years ago) as they are now, and 

b. the likelihood of anyone developing that level of concussion issue is more rare than making the NHL.  I have coached at one time or another at least one hundred kids, probably watched a thousand.  Some of those players were quite good, but I don't think any of them are going to sniff a D1 team or a major junior team, let alone a pro team, let alone the NHL.  Thinking about that helps me keep things in perspective.

Concussions are a risk one takes when they play.  My younger son also plays soccer, and there are concussion risks with soccer as well, yet it isn't talked about.  In any event, I feel at some point you have to trust the individual will quit playing if they get multiple concussions. If my sons are concussed multiple times while they are a child, I'll pull them from the sport.

But they haven't and they really enjoy playing.  Hockey is super fun, so I don't want to take it from them unless there is a long term risk, and absent multiple concussions, I don't think there is that risk.

What are the body checking rules in the your leagues? I've always thought that it you play hockey with your head up in a league with strict rules you will still end up on your asz a lot but concussion shouldn't be nearly the risk that is more inherent in football. I know it *is* an issue in the NHL, but the NHL plays a much more punishing game  (and off course even moreso in the past) than I would hope any youth league allows.

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Rubbing or pinching a guy off at the boards is ok from age 12, full checking at 14. 

Most kids don't aggressively check though those who go hard into the corners tend to be the guys who tend to have their heads up.  It really takes a few years for players to get the confidence to really hit.  I'd guess most of the bad injuries age 16 or younger are from someone swinging a stick.

Less than 10% of youth players I know of have gotten a concussion. I know of one player who has had 2 concussions, but they were years apart and one of the concussions happened at school in gym class - completely unrelated to hockey.

 

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A lot of people bag on the fact that they signed Franzen over Hossa but the stat that jumps out is 42 goals in 107 playoff games.  That's a huge number and he was a huge playoff performer when he was healthy.   Remember that not as many goals are scored in the playoffs.  The contract was a bit too long, but nobody could have predicted what would happen and it's just sad now.   This is a guy who can't play hockey and he probably couldn't even hold a job right now and he's only 39.  

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these stories of concussions are the exception, not the rule.  anything physical you can do can likely injure you.

to give up playing a sport you really love for the very small chance that a series of concussions might disable you is silly, imo and a complete pearl clutching over reaction.

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I should have also added that best knowledge suggests most guys with long term concussion issues received concussions before fully healing from an initial concussion.  Getting concussions in rapid succession appears to be far more damaging than the same number of concussions spread out over years.

I think (hope?) the number of guys with these issues for the rest of their life is going to drop because teams and players are better educated about it and will take the appropriate steps of removing themselves from play until they fully heal.

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8 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I should have also added that best knowledge suggests most guys with long term concussion issues received concussions before fully healing from an initial concussion.  Getting concussions in rapid succession appears to be far more damaging than the same number of concussions spread out over years.

I think (hope?) the number of guys with these issues for the rest of their life is going to drop because teams and players are better educated about it and will take the appropriate steps of removing themselves from play until they fully heal.

I don't think there is such a thing as fully recovered from a serious concussion.   I don't think anyone is 100% after that.  I know some docs say a concussion is a concussion and it makes no difference as far as a level goes, but I don't know about that.  It does seem like there are much more serious instances than others.   I've had two concussions in my life, once I was hit with a baseball bat (by accident, I got to close to an on-deck circle, I was never knocked out).   The other time was on a carnival ride when the ride jerked before I was ready, and that one hit me a lot harder.  It took a few weeks to feel right from that one.  

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1 hour ago, Motor City Sonics said:

I don't think there is such a thing as fully recovered from a serious concussion.   I don't think anyone is 100% after that.  I know some docs say a concussion is a concussion and it makes no difference as far as a level goes, but I don't know about that.  It does seem like there are much more serious instances than others.   I've had two concussions in my life, once I was hit with a baseball bat (by accident, I got to close to an on-deck circle, I was never knocked out).   The other time was on a carnival ride when the ride jerked before I was ready, and that one hit me a lot harder.  It took a few weeks to feel right from that one.  

we should ban baseball and carnival rides.  someone might get hurt!!!!

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8 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Not sure how your anecdote supports your premise?

One concussion I was fine after a few hours, the other one I was dizzy and sick in my stomach for two weeks and didn't actually get hit in the head.   I think there are degrees and I think, if you look at a couple that Franzen had, they were really bad ones.   The difference between getting your bell rung and getting knocked out cold.  There has to be degrees of head trauma/concussion.     Some doctors swear there isn't because you never 100% recover from any of them.    

As many times as Marty McFly got knocked out, his middle age has to be really rough. 

And no, why would we ban baseball and carnival rides?   Or hockey?  Or football?    Just maybe be a little smarter about things.   Don't think there is much you can do about football except teach proper tackling and seriously penalize those who don't.   Hockey,  those dudes are flying around like they are, things collide, what can you do?   Keep the elbows down,  no targeting.  that's about it.  

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Sure.  There are varying degrees of muscle injuries, bone fractures, illnesses in general, so I don't think it is surprising that there are varying degrees to the severity of a concussion.

Like other injuries, if you continue to play before you fully heal, then you run the risk of making the injury far worse with a relatively minor impact.  That is the premise I make making with Franzen and others like him, including Joe Murphy.  I contend they needed to sit out a lot longer than they actually did and they made a not fully healed injury much, much worse.

As to the not recover fully from a concussion, it has been observed that once you receive a concussion, it lakes less impact to receive a second concussion, even years after the fact.  But I don't know as that there has been any demonstrated loss in cognitive abilities, emotional control, deductive logic, etc if somebody has been concussed and recovered otherwise.  I understand it is hard to demonstrate something like that, but there have been countless people over the years that have been concussed and had no loss in quality of life after they recovered.

I think what is relatively new in sports is sustaining multiple head injuries before the first one is fully healed and, in the case of American football, repetitive head impacts that are jarring, such as with a lineman on damn near every play.  Boxers as well.

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On 5/31/2018 at 7:50 PM, MAROTH4MVP said:

How can they let Chicago out of the Hosea deal and not Detroit and Franzen?

I haven’t seen anything about Chicago not having Hossa count against cal but I know you follow this sort of stuff way closer than me. I am hoping you have some sort of explanation.

Chicago traded him to Arizona, ala Pavel Datsyuk.

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