Why Stars’ Patrick Sharp is thankful for NHL’s efforts to change its culture on concussions



Five years ago, said, he would have returned to the game when he suffered a concussion like the one he suffered Oct. 20.

It would have been described as a “mild” concussion or not even as a concussion at all. That’s just what hockey players did. It’s what athletes did.

This time, though, the NHL’s new concussion protocol made Sharp sit out and also made him take serious stock in what had just happened. He missed 14 games and didn’t return until he was symptom free. It wasn’t easy while his team was struggling in the standings, but it was the right thing to do.

“When I took the hit, I assumed I was coming back into the game,” Sharp said. “Now that I look back on it and what happened, it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t.”

Sharp was hit by Kings defenseman while skating up the wing. Although his chin did hit the board on his way to the ice, he said he didn’t really feel that the board or ice created a huge impact. Instead, he said the snapping of his neck at the moment of impact probably created a whiplash effect on his brain.

And over the next few weeks, he said, he displayed the classic signs of a concussion dizziness, nausea, light sensitivity. He would be better for a few days, and then the symptoms would return, and that was scary, he said.

“When you break a bone, you have a time frame and you know it’s going to heal,” Sharp said. ” The type of injury that I had, you hear some scary stories from around the league. You try to talk to former teammates, current teammates that have been through the same situation and get as much information as you can.”

jersey cheap is one of the best research guides when it comes to concussions. He had one in 2012 that kept him out of play for 15 months. During that span, his wife, Katie, took care of him and their 1 year old daughter. She also was pregnant.

“My wife got me through it,” Eaves said when he was nominated for the Masterton Trophy two years ago. “It was tough not being able to do the things like not being a father, not being a husband. Basically, it was nuts.”

And yet, he battled back to resume his career in 2013, and has even suffered concussions since. He said that the key is he has always followed the advice of doctors and trainers, and that he believes the NHL’s new protocol is working.

“I think that’s huge for us. I think we need that help,” Eaves said. “Guys want to play, but they need to realize that life is bigger than one game, and coming out is the best thing for you.”

The NHL last season put concussion spotters in Cheap Jerseys from China
each building and then added to that this season with central concussion spotters who watch games in a national video center and look for signs that a player might be concussed. After the hit Sharp took, he was quickly placed in the protocol.

“The knowledge now is in a whole new place,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “They’re taking players out on any indication of a concussion. And there have been times when it isn’t, but I think you have to err on the side of player protection.”

Ruff said he was knocked out cold during his playing days and then returned and played the next day. That’s just how it was. The NHL is trying to change that culture by forcing players to sit down, and that’s something Sharp said he’s thankful for today.

“You try to read up as much as you can. You try to be as honest as you can be in the evaluation. But again, it’s kind of a guessing game and time is the ultimate healer,” said Sharp, who scored his first goal of the season Wednesday in his third game back from the concussion. “I’m thankful I was able to come out of it and feel healthy and strong.”

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