Concussion King Eric Lindros Has Something to Say

This brings back awful memories…

…and his words hold some merit, probably because his parents had nothing to do with it.

In an interview with the Toronto Sun, the former Philadelphia Flyer and soon-to-be inductee into the London Sports Hall of Fame (…congratuations?) said that he believes rule changes in the NHL have led to a higher rate of concussions.

Lindros could be considered an authority on the topic. Once anointed "The Next One", he suffered four concussions during his NHL career. The most  infamous of those  was the shot he took from Scott Stevens in game seven of the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals, which you can view… right here.



Was that really 11 years ago? Jesus.

Anyway, here is what Lindros had to say on the topic [Pro Hockey Talk via The Toronto Sun]:

"They did away with the red line (for the two-line offside pass), so the rate of speed through the neutral zone is much higher. Defencemen can't help their partners by slowing opponents down between the blue line and the top of the circle and goalies can't play the puck behind the goal line outside that (trapezoid) area.

"Would Raffi Torres have been coming through the neutral zone as fast as he was otherwise?" he added of the Vancouver forward's hit on Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks during their first-round playoff series, which earned Torres an interference penalty, but no suspension. "Everyone's being so reactive right now, but the problem's actually been there for a long time. I think there are some strides being made, though."


Lindros is basically saying that the much faster speed of today's game makes the hits and checks even more dangerous. (If you didn't click on the link for the Raffi Torres hit directly above, you need to. It's a great illustration of his point.)

The elimination of the two-line pass call and the goalie's inability to be effective outside of the trapezoid area forces more movement on both sides of the ice, especially by the end boards. You notice that the Stevens hit on Lindros was similar to the Torres hit on Seabrook, except where the incident took place. The Stevens hit took place in the neutral zone in open ice, but now players can get that room pretty deep as well.

You may or may not be a Lindros fan based on how things ended with his tenure in Philly, but he makes a lot of sense here, and it is pretty odd that the concussion issue in the NHL is just now getting this much attention. Between watching Lindros and guys like Simon Gagne, Flyers fans have been quite aware of it for some time.

And hey, if you don't like Lindros, maybe this will warm you up to him a bit. He responded when asked about "blatant elbow-to-the-head artists, such as the Pittsburgh Penguins' Matt Cooke".

"You know what the unfortunate part is? When the time comes for him to be a free agent, some general manager will sign him and pay him more than someone who kills penalties or plays on the power play because of his — I can't really find another word for it — trashy style of play."


Heh. Fuckin' Penguins.

The point of all this is the quicker speed of this game is naturally going to increase injuries, especiallty those resulting from big hits and checks. But there is more scoring in the NHL with the rule changes last decade and that's always going to be sexier to the viewer. So, I expect little to change.

Personally, I enjoyed the days when a 3-on-2 rush actually meant something. But it's a hard game not to love, either way. The hockey fan knows what I'm talking about.

And the non-hockey fans may know soon, too… because there won't be and NFL or NBA to watch next year.

…baseball and hockey, folks. Baseball and hockey.


14 Responses

  1. thank you, just what I needed on this Tues morning just days after the season ends – to re-live another Flyers season with high expectations end in the fetal position. though it also did re-energize my total fucking dislike for the devils

  2. Lindros became a Polish citizen in game 7 of the eastern Conference finals, not game 6. He returned for game 6.

  3. Lindros makes a very good point. The faster a guy is moving, the worse the hit is gonna be. The speed of the NFL players today is also part of the reason for the increase of concussions in that league, imo.
    As for Lindros the player, as unlikable as he was off the ice at times, he is the best player I have seen in a Flyer uni. I started watching for real in the late 70’s, so Clarke was in the latter part of his career. 88 was a flat out unstoppable force for a few years there. As much as he annoyed us at times, I think he clearly deserves a spot in the HOF.

  4. cant wait for next year. The two teams i truly care about the flyers and phillies, in that order will be the only teams playing. which means a ton of coverage which is really good for hockey. lindros makes a few good points, however i really hated the 2 line pass so im glad thats no longer in the game. i do wish the dman could get away with more again, and the trapazoid is the dumbest thing ever. they need to take it away.
    also not calling anyone out, but im sure they hate that we spell defenseman with an s. its never gonna change so why get upset about it? your not the only one bobby mac a lot of people complain about it, and im just saying that they probably dont like the s.

  5. Why is there no defenseman anymore who hits a dude coming across the blue line? All they do now if skate backwards to hash mark then throw a girlie poke check. We need more Scott Stevens and Brian Campbell hits. The solution is…keep ur head up fools!

  6. you no longer have the defenseman making big time hits at the blue line anymore because forwards are going through the neutral zone much faster than before without the 2 line pass rule. dman are then less likely to step up because they will get burned much easier, leading to more embarrassment and probably more bench time. just isn’t as common anymore since there seems to be more risk than reward with it

  7. Big Lindros fan here, he knows the game, just couldn’t keep his head up.
    My take is that these head-hunting pricks should be held accountable for their actions, scrap the instigator and these jokes will have to answer for their actions on the ice, teams are still dressing enforcers, if the league would just let them do their job, maybe these guys wouldn’t feel so gutsy when presented with an oppurtunity to jeopardize somebody’s career.
    I also subscribe to the idea that these “victims” need to take responsibility of their own well-being when out on the ice. Know where the boards are, and for fuck’s sake, keep your goddamn head up, the rink is a dangerous place to be, that’s what makes this game so special, it’s a risk.

  8. Is Lindros’ point moot? I feel like the game is so much less physical.
    This is in contrast to football, which should rename itself the NMTL – short for the National Meat Tenderizer League. It’s honestly getting hard for me to even watch football anymore. Between the added speed and extra pads that are added, it’s making for gruesome injuries. Just look at last year’s Eagles game against the Falcons when DJax got laid out… and the guy who laid him out was equally as hurt.

  9. may just be hockey…baseball’s contract is up in December and there are some arguements that may cause a stink…smaller ball clubs want a hard salary cap…bigger ball clubs want contraction, bud wants 10 playoff teams. Remember the MLBPA is the biggest bag of pricks but they are the strongest union, nothing gets done without them on board.

  10. I disagree with Lindros about the greater speed means more concussions, and they did away with the 2-line pass violation because it slowed down the game too much and the NHL was losing fans because of it.
    Lookit, despite the faster game you still see the same bunch of players getting multaple concusshuns, and they’re in the minority. That means that some players are like Lindros: taltented but too stoopid to keep their head up. That’s the reason why they’re more cuncussion prone than others, not because of the rules of the game. Maybe these types aren’t cut for the NHL but it’s sad they have to get hurt so many times before they suss it out.
    PS: @ Bobby Mac | May 11, 2011 at 11:27 AM:
    “Defence” is they way the Brits and all of us under their rule spell it. It has nothing to do with the Frogs, thank god. BTW French for “defenceman” is “défenseur”, with an “S”:

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