It was a very weird scene in Pittsburgh last night, as Sidney Crosby was playing less than a week after suffering a concussion. It was curious Sid was playing at all so quickly after suffering a concussion, but he was cleared by the doctors and was suited up for game 6 last night. And then the worst possible thing happened early in the game- Crosby went head first, hard, into the boards. He was slow to get up, was slow to get back to the bench, and everyone expected the worst- another concussion, which would be very bad.
However, he wasn’t tested for a concussion. And why? Because the NHL is legit wrote the dumbest rule EVER:
USA Today - Concussion spotters didn’t have the authority to pull Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby from Game 6 on Monday because his head-first collision with the boards is not a “mechanism of injury” that allows that under their guidelines.
Under the current concussion policy, the league’s central concussion spotter only would have been able to force Crosby out had his head hit the ice or another player.
“Depending on the mechanism of injury, ‘slow to get up’ does not trigger mandatory removal,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told USA TODAY Sports. “The protocol has to be interpreted literally to mandate a removal. ‘Ice’ as compared to ‘boards’ is in there for a reason. It’s the result of a study on our actual experiences over a number of years. ‘Ice’ has been found to be a predictor of concussions — ‘boards’ has not been.”
Yes, you read that correctly. Because he hit his head on the boards, not the ice, the NHL’s concussion spotters couldn’t test him. They have to follow the rule literally, because you know, the boards are soft and giving, who could ever get a head injury from banging into them at 100 MPH??
I want to re-iterate that- the NHL says going headfirst into the boards CANNOT cause a concussion.
Right now he very well could be playing with some sort of double concussion. It very well could explain his 1 shot on goal in 20 minutes, and the overall lackluster performance the Pens had last night.
If anything, hopefully this will change the NHL’s policy and help protect players who have histories of concussions like Crosby. Definitely do not want star players like him having their careers cut short and their brains turned to soup because of the NHL’s incompetence.