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Kings’ Gagne wants concussion support group

Jun 8, 2012, 5:33 PM EST

Simon Gagne Getty Images

Simon Gagne‘s appearance in the Stanley Cup finals was a surprise given his concussion struggles this season.

It wasn’t the first concussion the 32-year-old’s career — it’s believed he suffered three in five months while playing in Philadelphia — but it might’ve been the most severe, costing him 47 regular season and 14 playoff games.

Now healthy and with two games under his belt, Gagne is a good resource in teaching other NHLers about concussions and recovery, and he’s hopeful the player’s union will take it a step further in developing a peer support network.

“I think we’re working on a plan,” Gagne said after Friday’s practice. “The NHLPA will have a group guys that will be able to, if a guy gets that type of injury, reach out to a list of guys that went through it and try to help them go through something like that.

“For guys that haven’t had that type of injury it’s hard. Talking to a bunch of guys this year that never had one, asking me questions about it — they had no clue.”

Gagne dealt with his latest injury by reaching out to teammate and fellow concussion-sufferer Willie Mitchell. Having someone to talk to helped him get over his own worries and concerns.

“It’s always good to have people around that went through it,” Gagne said. “It was not my first one so it wasn’t too bad, I knew what to expect. But for the guys that go through it the first time, it’s scary.”

“You don’t know what to expect and you want to get back and play but some guy is going to make a mistake and go in 95-percent and that’s not what you want.

“I think you need to be really honest with yourself and if you’re not, you’re going to pay for it.”

  1. eigglesnosuperbowls - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Simon is a class act ! I would expect anything he associates himself with would be the same !

  2. drewsylvania - Jun 8, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Great idea.

  3. punkrulz24 - Jun 9, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    I think this is really a great idea that needs to happen, and should have happened sooner. After hearing stories about how Chris Pronger is dealing with his concussion, it really sounds like he needs a group to talk to who can relate and understand and help him cope with it. Words aside I can’t imagine how devastating it is to be taken away from something you love doing because of an injury, and also have the looming fear that you may not be able to ever do what you love again.

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