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Therrien: Weise out for Game 6 with ‘body injury,’ not head injury

May 29, 2014, 1:04 PM EDT

Weise Getty Images

After Dale Weise was temporarily knocked out of Game 5 following John Moore‘s hit — which the NHL later deemed an illegal check to the head — Montreal head coach Michel Therrien announced that Weise will miss tonight’s Game 6… with a body injury.

Not a head injury.

For more, let’s go to the transcript!

Q. Is there any regret about having Dale come back given that the symptoms, obviously, came on after the game?

COACH THERRIEN: You’re presuming it’s a head injury.

Q. Am I not correct?

COACH THERRIEN: You’re not correct.

Q. I know you touched on it briefly, but can you explain the difference and what happened between the third period for Dale, when he was let back in the game, now not being able to play tonight?

COACH THERRIEN: Well, after the hit he went to meet the doctors, saw the doctors. He was feeling fine about finishing the game. For us, what is really important is player safety. This is important for us. It’s been like that all season long. It’s not going to change. For a player not able to play the next game, this is something that we could see on a regular basis. You can see [Derek] Stepan finished a game with a broken jaw, get an operation the next day, miss Game 4, and came back after his operation. So those are the things that you see at this time of the year. But right now he’s got a body injury. He won’t be able to play tonight.

There’s been plenty of gamesmanship throughout the Eastern Conference Final, so Therrien’s comments shouldn’t come as any huge surprise as the effectiveness of the “quiet room” and concussion protocol has been questioned repeatedly this postseason.

In Columbus’ opening-round loss to Pittsburgh, James Wisniewski had to be helped off the ice in Game 6 following a big hit from Tanner Glass, but returned in the second period. Wisniewski later said this to the Columbus Dispatch:

“My head didn’t feel great in Game 6. I said my back hurt so I didn’t have to do the 20-minute (concussion) protocol and go through that whole concussion process. I didn’t feel like going in and talking to the doctors for 20 minutes.”

Then there was Minnesota goalie Darcy Kuemper, who was dealing with concussion symptoms while playing in Game 7 of the Colorado series and had to exit in the third period, clearly rattled from a collision that occurred in the middle frame.

As for Therrien, his comments might be troubling but they’re really par for the course. The issues are with how players can get around current head injury rules and regulations, and how easy it is for coaches to say “well, my guy said he was OK to return.”

  1. brdwyblueshirts - May 29, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Curious if any Hab fans are concerned with the medical staff in Montreal? They let Price play, maybe making his injury worse now Weise. Seems like player safety isn’t the #1 priority.

    • joey4id - May 29, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      Same happened to Pacioretty during a game vs the Bruins, and to Stamkos in the Montreal series.

      • JoeAvg - May 29, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        They also gave Kris Letang clearance to resume playing but he was diagnosed with a concussion when he got back to Pittsburgh.

        Are we seeing a pattern here?

    • hockeyflow33 - May 29, 2014 at 6:45 PM

      They’re two victories away from a Stanley Cup birth, what do you expect players to do?

  2. joey4id - May 29, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    Sounds like someone is protecting the team’s physician. Afraid of a law suit boys……

  3. JoeAvg - May 29, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    This is the first I’ve heard of the Wisniewski quote. Players need to be punished for pulling stunts like this as well as teams not following protocol. Though ultimately, they pay the highest price in the end anyway.

  4. bwayblueshirt - May 29, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    The DOPES (Dept of Player Emasculating and Spanking) really need to step up here. There is no greater threat to player safety than players lying to team doctors.

  5. bigdaddy44 - May 29, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    With the hit to the head, as deemed by the league, combined with his woozy condition on the ice, Weise should have to go through concussion protocols to return to the ice.

  6. charlie24zz - May 29, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Silly me, believing a broken jaw would slow Stepan down. 2/3rds of a hat-trick in his first game back.

    Brain injury is way better, and costs the same.

  7. micasa81 - May 29, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Media gets a rough ride so often, but I’m glad this reporter took a hard line about Weise’s injury. As for Therrien, to say that player safety is the #1 concern, then say a couple of sentences later that premature returns are par for the course this time of year, is a total self-contradiction.

    The main failing lies with the league as a whole, though. If you give players leeway to self-report, they are going to lie. No question. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that coaches and management don’t have the guts to submit players to concussion protocols either. You know that coaches are going to take the shortcut, and players are going to lie, so take it out of their hands completely. Make it a league official’s job to decide when a player needs to go to the quiet room. If a doctor needs to be the one to make that call, get a doctor to do it. Just everybody, stop pretending you are doing everything you can to protect the players. Yes, I know, these meatheads are grown-ups getting paid millions, it’s their body, etc., but that isn’t going to stop them from suing the league’s ass in 5, 10 or 20 years.

  8. rpiotr01 - May 29, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Better a body injury than a soul injury, I hear those things never heal quite right.

    • thesportsjudge - May 29, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      They have no soul in Montreal, so there’s that….

  9. mcguenther13 - May 29, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    It was quite obvious from the hit he suffered a concussion, coaching staff just needs to own up and admit it……have we learned nothing from the countless amounts of CTE involving major sports athletes????

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