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Pat Hickey: Banning combating would make hockey safer, Dr. Mulder says

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Dr. David Mulder feels that the following step to creating hockey a safer sport is to ban combating.

“There are some followers who might not like the thought, however you must understand that the purpose in combating is to trigger a concussion,” Mulder mentioned Thursday previous to a gala dinner on the Bell Centre marking his transition to a guide position after a 60-year affiliation with the Canadiens’ group.

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Mulder mentioned there’s a higher understanding of concussions and their long-term results on the mind. He mentioned that when he began treating athletes 60 years in the past, there was an inclination to dismiss the seriousness of blows to the top. At this time, gamers are routinely faraway from video games after a blow to the top and go although a baseline protocol earlier than they’re allowed to renew enjoying.

Mulder mentioned there are three main developments which have made sports activities safer.

“We’ve got improved imaging instruments, the tools is healthier and now we have entry to totally outfitted trauma centres,” he mentioned.

“There was a time once we needed to depend on X-rays, however now now we have CT scans and MRIs, which permit us to higher diagnose an harm and deal with it.

“The tools is healthier. After I began (with the Junior Canadiens in 1963), there have been no helmets, no visors and the pads didn’t provide a lot safety. Gamers have been at all times damage.”

Mulder mentioned the tragic loss of life of former Pittsburgh Penguin Adam Johnson in England has raised consciousness of neck safety.

Johnson bled out after his carotid artery was severed by a skate blade. Mulder mentioned his life might need been saved if he had acquired immediate medical consideration.

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Richard Zednik grabs his neck during a game
Richard Zednik of the Florida Panthers grabs his neck and skates off the ice after being minimize through the third interval towards the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 10, 2008 at HSBC Area in Buffalo. Photograph by Invoice Wippert /NHLI through Getty Photographs

“We’ve had two incidents within the NHL with Richard Zednik and Clint Malarchuk, and so they lived as a result of medical doctors have been capable of apply strain to sluggish the bleeding till they could possibly be taken to hospital,” Mulder mentioned.

“There’s a trauma physician in each NHL rink,” he added, noting {that a} fast response saved Trent McCleary’s life when his larynx was crushed by a slapshot in 2000.

“We have been capable of get him to the hospital in 17 minutes,” Mulder mentioned.

However the McCleary harm additionally led to a change that might make the preliminary response even faster.

“The medical doctors sitting at completely different areas within the stands and (group president) Pierre Boivin mentioned we should always sit proper behind the bench,” Mulder mentioned. “Most different NHL groups adopted our lead.”

Mulder mentioned essentially the most memorable second of his profession was the return of Saku Koivu to the Bell Centre ice after seven months of chemotherapy and radiation therapies for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“Earlier than the sport he visited me within the small physician’s workplace within the clinic,” recalled Mulder. “He thanked me after which went on the ice to a standing ovation.”



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