The number of concussions in pro hockey this season has risen, although the National Hockey League is keeping mum on exactly what the number is so far.
The New York Times published a story Sunday based on a news conference that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman gave during All-Star weekend.
He said that there has been an increase in concussions, but attributed that to “accidental and inadvertant” collisions and “fighting,” according to The Times. Direct hits to the head don’t account for the rise in concussions, according to the NHL.
One of the most noteworthy hockey concussions this season was the one sustained by Sidney Crosby, who was hit Jan. 1 and Jan. 5. Crosby was hurt Jan. 1 when another player moved past him, with his shoulder hitting Crosby’s head.
Rather foolishly, even though Crosby became to have concussion symptoms the day after that injury, he still went back to the rink to play. He took a hit Jan. 5, and was then benched.
This season there have been fewer concussions from blindside head shots, which Bettman said is due to Rule 48, which bans those hits.
Although Bettman wouldn’t say how many concussions there have been so far this season, a researcher said “there was a slight rise over the rate of roughly 75 concussions per year reported in recent seasons,” according to The Times.