Concussion data reveal paradox for NHL
Last week, while meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., NHL general managers not only recommended a new rule to ban blindside shoulder checks to the head but said they wanted to give the league authority to impose supplemental discipline for headshots this season. There are still details to work out. But it's great news that the men who run North American hockey are concerned about the increasingly important issue of brain injuries.
It's also great news that they're taking the evidence about concussions seriously and correctly; reportedly, "statistical input" from concussion analysts helped convince the GMs to enact the ban. Previously, the NHL has claimed that concussion rates have remained about the same for the past decade. And the only comprehensive study of the subject actually found there's been a decline in concussions per season since the 1997-98 season. But as I've written before, there isn't one trend for NHL concussions in recent years, there are two: a rising line before the lockout, then a drop to a lower level, but another rising line since the lockout.
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