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Have the league’s policies diminished concussions? Depends on how one defines an ‘upper-body injury’

According to the Globe and Mail's David Shoalts, the NHL's insistence that concussions have decreased on a consistent basis over the past several seasons, especially since the NHL banned blind-side hits to the head, is...Based upon some "fuzzy math":

[N]o one is sure if concussions are down this season because the NHL refuses to release any statistics about concussions. Both the league and the NHL Players’ Association, which are working together on a long-term initiative to study the problem, called the NHL-NHLPA Concussion Working Group, declined to comment on the topic.

Finding concussion statistics from sources outside the NHL has become impossible because of the league’s injury policy. Teams are not required to list a player’s specific injury and commonly use terms like “upper-body injury” in their reports, which makes it too difficult to track concussions.

Dustin Fink, a certified athletic trainer in Decatur, Ill., who operates The Concussion Blog, an authoritive web site on head injuries, used to list concussion statistics for the NHL as well as the NFL. But he stopped posting the NHL’s numbers after the 2010-11 season, he said, because “it became too difficult to do” thanks to the league’s policy on naming injuries.


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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