Despite Rule Changes, NHL Concussion Rates Continue To Rise

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Photo: AP

Despite rule changes aimed at reducing head injuries, NHL players are suffering concussions as frequently as last season’s alarming pace.There have been 33 concussions in the NHL as of December 1, which is on pace to match last year’s spike of 84.

Since 1997 there have been an average of 75 concussions per season in the NHL, and last year’s sharp spike prompted a crackdown on hits to the head.  But so far despite harsher disciplinary measures, players are suffering head injuries more than ever. 

Still, Dr. Ruben Echemendia, the NHL’s neuropsychologist says it’s too early to draw conclusions on whether the rule changes have been ineffective. It takes players a while to adapt to the rule changes and tailor their style of play accordingly.

Echemendia says a full year or two must be examined before analysing the results. 

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