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Larry Robinson: ‘You question where our game is going sometimes’

Oct 26, 2013, 7:23 PM EDT

San Jose Sharks v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

One of hockey’s most recognizable and respected figures has weighed in on the state of the game, amid a rash of controversial hits and injuries to begin the 2013-14 regular season.

Recently, San Jose Sharks associate coach Larry Robinson spoke candidly about what he believes to be a “lack of respect” at the NHL level today.

His comments are similar to ones made by Sharks veteran defenseman Dan Boyle, who earlier this month had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher after getting hit from behind by St. Louis Blues forward Maxim Lapierre.

Of course, there have been other incidents since then. Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson has been diagnosed with a concussion after he took a hit to the head (it was also late) from Buffalo Sabres’ forward John Scott earlier this week.

“I wouldn’t be in it as long as I have if I didn’t enjoy the game and that’s the part I like the most,” Robinson told the San Jose Mercury News.

“If there was anything that would turn me away from the game it’s the way it’s being played and how the league is being handled now.”

“How many concussions have we had in the last two, three or four few weeks, the lack of respect the players are having for each other.

“You question where our game is going sometimes.”

  1. travishenryskid - Oct 26, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    It’s not where the game is going that is the problem, it’s where it’s come from that is the problem. Scott Stevens is a legend for his hits, many of the most famous would have been Suspendable now. We’ve learned so much about head injuries recently and you can’t just turn a switch and change the way it’s been played over night to get rid of these plays.

    • joey4id - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      something has to be done. some players can throw hits without ever hitting the head or driving a player’s head into the boards. to fix this the NHL has to invest money and resources to find a solution. this may require the participation of hockey organization across the globe at every level of play. for the short term they may start suspending/fining GMs/Coaches and players of course.

  2. Anoesis - Oct 26, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    Larry: See Lapierre, Maxim, and Boyle, Dan, as two examples of players who think it okay to do something they were told since they were about five years old not to do (Boyle’s words, not mine).

    • sjawesome - Oct 27, 2013 at 2:16 AM

      Good misquote breh

      • Anoesis - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        “At the same time, we’re told since we were five years old not to hit a guy when you see numbers and it’s pretty clear he saw my numbers and he decided to hit anyway.” – Dan Boyle on Maxim Lapierre’s hit.

        You were saying?

  3. alicesrightfootesq - Oct 26, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    The only thing that is going to change players is lengthy suspensions. Getting suspended for 2-5 games in an 82 game season is nothing to them.

    • joey4id - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      it may be time to make coaches pay for their players behavior.

  4. sharksfan97 - Oct 26, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Amen Larry. The league need a to stop trying too halt these hits using scotch tape and start using a sledgehammer when handing out suspensions. The good of our great game depends in it.

  5. 950003cups - Oct 27, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    It’s time the NHL takes a page from what was haunting NASCAR for a few seasons. Instead of allowing cheap, disrespectful moves by drivers that were flipping cars in scary ways to be handles by executives a week later, NASCAR put in effect a “Let The Boys Have At It” meaning to allow them to get their own retribution. Once that happened the cheap shots were diminished within a year and a half.

    • joey4id - Oct 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      so, how would this apply to hockey?

  6. bhawk729 - Oct 27, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Doesn’t this guy have Raffi Torres on his team? Pot, I’m kettle… You’re black.

    • ryanloral - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      Also on the Sharks is Brad Stuart who concussed Rick Nash, who is still out and Stuart is back playing. That right there is the inherent unfairness of the absurd suspensions by Lord Shanahan. Start suspending these guys indefinitely until the recipient of their illegal hit returns to the ice. And the player that causes the concussion should be penalized twice as long as it takes for the player who got hit to return, if that player who got hit has a history of concussions. Might sound absurd to some of you, but what the NHL is doing now is pathetic. Always was, and continues to be.

  7. joey4id - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Have to agree with Robinson. Too bad he didn’t link concussions to fighting. Many NHL players have retired because of concussions. Concussions has become the leading topic of conversation in football, baseball, and hockey.

    • micklethepickle - Oct 27, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      Absurd comment, then I saw who posted it. Village idiot at it again!

      • joey4id - Oct 27, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        It is absurd. Concussion injuries is being discussed in more sports than I mentioned, and at the amateur level as well. It has become one of the biggest concerns for those responsible for player safety. Have you ever heard of Chris Nowinski? Dr. Cantu? Perhaps you should do a littl research.

    • winger58 - Oct 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      “Many NHL players have retired because of concussions”

      Can you name any “fighters” who retired because of concussions? Guys like Lindros didn’t get their concussions from fighting. While it certainly could happen in a fight, it is extremely rare. Skilled players were not getting pile-driven through the boards when there were tough guys playing and no fear of the instigator rule.

      • joey4id - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        winger58, Matthew Barnaby and Stu Grimson for certain. Others suffered from CTE.

        Matthew Barnaby
        While playing for the Dallas Stars in January 2007, Barnaby was concussed during a fight with Josh Gratton of the Phoenix Coyotes and missed the rest of the season. Effects, including temporary loss of vision in his left eye, led him to retire in July of that year.

        Stu Grimson
        Was knocked out of the league for good by a fight with Georges Laraque of the Oilers in December 2001. He sat out the next season, and when his symptoms remained, retired in June 2003.

        Jeff Beukeboom (not directly related to a fight, but worth noting)
        Suffered more than six concussions, including one when he was sucker-punched from behind by Matt Johnson of the Kings in November 1998. Three months later, Beukeboom was concussed again by a seemingly minor hit in a game against Carolina. The injury left him with headaches and trouble concentrating. He never played again.

        Boogaard had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, commonly known as C.T.E., a close relative of Alzheimer’s disease. It is believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head. It can be diagnosed only posthumously, but scientists say it shows itself in symptoms like memory loss, impulsiveness, mood swings, even addiction.

      • joey4id - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        winger58, BTW, taking the time to ask demonstrates your willingness to learn about the plague of concussions. For parents awareness is much more important than denial. Especially if you have children participating in a physical sport.

        Concussions appear to happen more frequently than in the past, but I believe it’s because we now know more about CTE. Science has revealed the problem and cause, and we know how to diagnose concussions which can help prevent CTE.

  8. winger58 - Oct 28, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    There are not “more concussions” occurring. There are more concussions being diagnosed! Larry is a hypocrite. Players in his era did the same thing. But back then it was called “getting your bell rung” and guys would just play through it. However, it is the CHEAP hits which have increased, and that is directly related to the instigator rule. If the instigator rule were in effect during the 80’s and 90’s, Gretzky would have been carried off the ice often. The players policed themselves much more effectively than Brendon Shanahan could ever dream of doing.

    • joey4id - Oct 28, 2013 at 10:39 PM

      Hard to say whether or not there are more concussions. The tests which are currently perform to diagnose a concussion are relatively new. A hypocrite? Really? I don’t agree that cheap shots increased because of the instigator rule. When a player launches himself up and into the head of a player it’s not because of the instigator rule. Many players don’t know how to hit. Ovi is one of the hardest high terms and he rarely if ever hits the head. Secondly, today’s elbow and shoulder are hard as rock. So any hit to the head is completely absorbed by the brain, which gets jarred back and forth. I’m an old tyme hockey guy, but I wouldn’t call Robinson, Stevie Y, Bowman or Rutherford hypocrites. The science has revealed serious damage occurs to the brain after a head shot. Unfortunately, the only way to diagnose CTE is by slicing the baring like the butcher slices beef. Only when a player donates his brain to CTE research can we know for sure the extent of the damaged caused by repeated blows to the head.

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