The National Hockey League is taking concussion more seriously for the upcoming season. Back in September, the NHL discussed expanding its in-game concussion monitoring system. Those plans are now a reality.
The Canadian Press reports the NHL is adding a staff of concussion spotters whose job will be to identify players who sustained a head injury and have them removed from games to be checked out. The league will have concussion spotters monitoring all broadcasts from NHL HQ.
“In an enhancement of its concussion protocol, the league announced the spotters will monitor all game broadcasts from the NHL’s headquarters in New York. The spotters are certified athletic trainers who have hockey experience and educated in identifying signs of potential concussions.”
The CP reports the NHL will also have spotters attending each game. The spotters will have the authority to remove players thought to be concussed for evaluation. Those players would not be able to return until they’re medically cleared by team doctors.
Adding spotters who can actively pull players thought to be concussed is a step in the right direction. It’s scary to see a player suffer an obvious concussion and not be medically cleared before stepping back on the ice. With the new system in place, hopefully, more concussions are immediately identified, and the long-term effects of the injuries are softened with quick identification and proper medical clearance.