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Video Pinpoints Source of Pronger Concussion?

Dec 14, 2011, 1:13 PM EDT

Video of the Martin Hanzal's hit on Chris Pronger and notes on what the league is to do about its ongoing concussion issue.

Daily News beat writer Frank Seravalli has a detailed piece on the Frequent Flyers blog at Philly.com breaking down Chris Pronger’s recent injury history.

Though the concussion with which he has now been diagnosed was originally thought to have stemmed from his stick-blade-to-the-eye incident against Toronto in October, that now seems like only part of the story.

After all, the captain played in five games after returning from that initial injury, only to later come down with his mysterious “virus” that would later be found to be of the post-concussion variety. So exactly when and where did this concussion take place?

Seravalli’s account of the suspected incident during the Flyers recent trip to Phoenix:

With 2:09 remaining in the third period, Pronger was crunched on the boards in his own end by the Coyotes’ Martin Hanzal. It was a routine, clean hit. But it may have a lasting impact on the Flyers’ season.

Pronger was hit from the side, but went into the glass face first. He bounced off the glass and immediately fell to his knees and was slow to get up again. Pronger eventually re-joined the play, made a pass, and exited the ice.

Video of the play in question:

Though this hasn’t been confirmed by the team or Pronger as the specific hit that led to his current troubles, even the CSN guys were showing footage of the collision on last night’s telecast.

Whatever the root cause of his headaches and dizziness, the team will have to wait not only for Pronger’s head to clear, but also for his knee to heal after yet another surgery. While nothing has been announced, he is assumed out for next month’s Winter Classic against the Rangers.

As for a worrying rundown of those players across currently missing time to due the league’s rash of concussions and alike symptoms, James Mirtle of TSN and the Globe and Mail in Canada provides this list of just those who could be considered high-profile:

List of high profile NHLers with concussions is getting long these days… Crosby, Pronger, Richards, Giroux, Skinner, Staal, Letang.
Dec 13 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

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For Flyers fans who have already seen too many careers altered and even ended by concussions and related trauma, here’s to hoping the NHL decides to do something more than just its attempt to ban blows to the head—a literally impossible task.

Flyers owner Ed Snider was quite candid earlier this week in detailing how he believes the issue has been exacerbated by the unnecessary and dangerous design of modern “protective” equipment, and what he sees has a declining sense of respect from players towards their opponents. St. Louis Blues’ executive John Davidson chimed in that the increased speed of the game in the post-lockout era is also a significant factor.

Changing the hearts and minds of the players doesn’t seem likely and changing the rules might return the league to the cluttered neutral zone that made for what the league and public have seen as less than exciting. So, why not start with the easiest, and probably most pressing, issue to solve?

Pads are meant to protect players from injury, not increase the potential for harm to others. An incident like Pronger’s or even Giroux’s might not be avoided, but you can imagine plenty others might be.

So, please, Gary Bettman, Brendan Shanahan and whoever else is in charge in Toronto, don’t become like another North American sporting league trying to legislate that which is impossible to stop. Instead, lead the way. Take it upon yourselves to be proactive, and not so foolishly reactive. Your players and fans will thank you.


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