Frozen Royalty: Willie Mitchell On Concussions: “I Get Into A Car Wreck Six Times A Night”
Very good story from Gann Matsuda on concussions. As you know, Willie Mitchell suffered a concussion prior to signing in Los Angeles. Here’s some great stuff from the defenseman.
EL SEGUNDO, CA — We’re not even at the halfway point of the 2011-12 National Hockey League season, but far too many players have already gone down due to concussions.
In no particular order, the NHL has lost stars like Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers, Milan Michalek of the Ottawa Senators, Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes, and Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators, all to concussions.
Most notably, the league has also lost Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger, who is expected to miss the rest of the season, and Pittsburgh Penguins superstar forward Sidney Crosby is out indefinitely after a recurrence of post-concussion syndrome.
Crosby, who is, arguably, the best player in the league, missed 41 games last season, and has played in just eight this season with no timetable for his return, after a high hit by then-Washington Capitals forward David Steckel during the 2011 Winter Classic, followed by another big hit by Victor Hedman on January 5 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Here in Southern California, Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards recently missed eight games due to a concussion. Without him, the Kings went into a nose dive, losing five straight before winning a 2-1 decision at Columbus on December 15, on their way to a dismal 2-6-0 record in those eight games.
Since returning to the lineup on December 22, the Kings are undefeated in regulation play, earning a 3-0-1 record in their last four games.
The Kings most recent concussion victim is left wing Simon Gagne, who suffered his injury on December 26 against the Phoenix Coyotes at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Gagne, who has a history of concussions, was placed on injured reserve, and did not make the Kings’ current two-game trip to Chicago and Winnipeg. The earliest he can return to the lineup would be on January 5, 2012, when the Kings host the Coyotes.
Read the rest on Frozen Royalty.