How responsible are players for their actions after head trauma?

Matt Larkin
kadri mad

The hit from Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano was crisp and clean. The ensuing throat slash from the victim, Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri, was a bit vulgar, enough to warrant a review from the NHL’s hockey operations department, but relatively harmless.

Quite concerning, however, were Kadri’s post-game comments about the incident.

“I think I said ‘(You’re) done,’ ” Kadri told reporters. “But, like I said, the whole situation was a bit fuzzy.”

Kadri added the incident was “something I don’t really remember doing. I was kind of in and out after the hit.”

We have ourselves a problem.

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Flames’ leading scorers Gaudreau, Monahan made healthy scratches to kick off ‘crucial week’

Jared Clinton
Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

The Calgary Flames sit more eight points out of a divisional post-season spot and nine out of a wild-card position in the Western Conference, but when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday night, they’ll be without three important players as part of a coach’s decision.

It was announced shortly before Tuesday’s game that each of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma would be out of the contest against the Maple Leafs, and it appears to be connected to Monday’s disastrous Flames practice. Read more

Flames’ Dennis Wideman to appeal 20-game suspension Wednesday

Jared Clinton
Dennis Wideman (Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

Dennis Wideman has already missed two games due to suspension, but the Calgary Flames defenseman may have a shot at coming back before his 20-game ban is up if he can win an appeal.

Wideman, 32, was handed his lengthy suspension on Feb. 3 for a hit he delivered to linesman Don Henderson. The check on Henderson was deemed abuse of an official by the league. The hit occurred on Jan. 26 and Wideman was initially suspended indefinitely pending a hearing, but the suspension wasn’t handed down until following the all-star break when Wideman met with Hockey Operations to discuss his actions.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that Bettman’s decision will impact where Wideman’s appeal goes. Should Bettman not reduce the suspension to less than six games, Wideman will have the right to having his appeal heard by a neutral party. According to Lebrun, the neutral party would be James Oldham, who has operated in the role of neutral arbitrator since 2004. Read more

Wideman, Babcock highlight need for more powerful concussion spotters

Ken Campbell
Justin Abdelkader and Zach Bogosian (Photo by Tom Brenner/ Getty Images)

If nothing else, Dennis Wideman and Mike Babcock have proved that the NHL’s protocol desperately needs to be equipped with more teeth than it now has. Well, they haven’t specifically, but the contingencies they represent have made things crystal clear.

One is a member of the NHL playing fraternity; the other is one of the 30 men who coach the best players in the world. And as it turns out, neither can be trusted to put the player’s long-term well-being ahead of winning when it comes to injuries that could lead to concussions.

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Does NHL treat diving more seriously than concussion protocol?

Dan Hamhuis and Mikael Granlund. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

The NHL announced Thursday morning that Winnipeg Jets center Alexander Burmistrov has been fined $2,000 for violating Rule 64, which deals with diving and embellishment. Burmistrov is the seventh player to receive a fine for diving, joining teammate Nikolaj Ehlers, Jordin Tootoo and Bobby Farnham of the New Jersey Devils, Jannik Hansen of the Vancouver Canucks, Zack Smith of the Ottawa Senators, and Teemu Pulkkinen of the Detroit Red Wings.

The NHL, which fines players and coaches on a graduated scale for such infractions really seems to have a bee in its bonnet for players who repeatedly dive and embellish in an attempt to draw penalties. Talk to any of the “hockey people” in the league’s head office and they see diving as an enormous blight on the game.

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The Hockey News Podcast: Episode 2 — On the Wideman suspension, and what’s gone wrong in Montreal

The Hockey News
Dennis Wideman (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Welcome to Episode 2 of The Hockey News Podcast.

This week, THN writers Ken Campbell, Ryan Kennedy, and Matt Larkin discuss the Dennis Wideman suspension, what’s gone wrong with the Montreal Canadiens, and the return of Connor McDavid.

Download and subscribe on iTunes, and on Soundcloud.

[Music: Metz – Headache; Quicksand – Omission]

Wideman incident raises questions about NHL’s concussion protocol

Dennis Wideman (Photo by Getty Images)

There’s a good chance Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman will become the first player in NHL history to have his suspension appealed to an independent arbitrator, but that’s not what will make this process so interesting over the next little while.

As has been widely reported, Wideman was suspended 20 games for abuse of official after crosschecking linesman Don Henderson from behind in a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators. The NHL Players’ Association has already filed an appeal on Wideman’s behalf, which is expected to be heard by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman early next week. If a further appeal is necessary, it will go to James Oldham, the league- and NHLPA-appointed independent arbitrator.

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