Should Lindros Retire???

Is Eight Enough? For New York Rangers forward Eric Lindros, eight documented concussions should be more than enough for him to seriously consider taking himself off the ice for good.
It’s a shame Lindros’ career might have to end this way, but his long-term health, not trying to help the Rangers squeeze into the playoffs for the first time in seven years, ought to be his first priority.

Sadly, Lindros’ younger brother was forced to retire from hockey at age 20 in 1996 after a series of concussions. Brett Lindros, a promising forward with the New York Islanders, gave up the game rather than risk permanent brain damage.

Given Eric Lindros’ history of concussions and the medical evidence that suggests people who suffer multiple blows to the head have more difficulty recovering from each successive injury, it doesn’t make sense for him to keep playing.

Lindros suffered his latest concussion in the second period of Wednesday’s game against Washington. He was looking down to control a bouncing puck and didn’t see Capitals defenseman Jason Doig closing in on him. Doig used his left shoulder to check Lindros, sending him sprawling to the ice with a hard but legal hit.

Shortly after, Lindros tried to start a fight with Doig, though no punches landed. Lindros took one more shift but didn’t feel well and was benched for the rest of the game. Rangers coach Glen Sather said Lindros saw some stars, white flashes.

The 6-foot-3, 228-pound Doig told reporters he didn’t mean to injure Lindros, who is 6-5, 240. “He’s a big target out there,” Doig said. “I was already moving when he put his head down. His head was up at first.”

Lindros previously suffered a concussion Dec. 28, 2001, when he banged his head with his own stick and glove in a collision with San Jose Sharks forward Mark Smith. Lindros missed four games.

Lindros was sidelined for the entire 2000-01 season after a brutal hit by New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Stevens on May 27, 2000, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. (Coincidentally, Stevens, one of the league’s most fearsome bodycheckers, is currently on the Devils’ injured reserve list because of concussion symptoms.)

Lindros, who turns 31 next month, was labeled “The Next One” before he was drafted first overall by the Quebec Nordiques in 1991. The nickname alluded to expectations that he eventually would follow Wayne Gretzky – “The Great One” – as the league’s top star.

Lindros has had a good career – he won the Hart Trophy with the Flyers in the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season – but he hasn’t stayed healthy long enough to reach his full potential.

Maybe Lindros’ next move should be retirement. What do you think?

LINDROS HEAD INJURIES

• New York Rangers forward Eric Lindros has suffered eight concussions in the past six years, the first six concussions coming when he played for the Philadelphia Flyers:

Date Circumstances

1.March 8, 1998 Checked by Pittsburgh’s Darius Kasparaitis

2.March 29, 1998 Hit by Calgary’s Steve Smith and Jason Wiemer

3.Jan. 12, 2000 Collided with Atlanta’s Chris Tamer

4.March 4, 2000 Hit by Boston’s Hal Gill

5.May 5, 2000 Collided with Flyers teammate Francis Lessard

6.May 27, 2000 Leveled by New Jersey’s Scott Stevens

7.Dec. 28, 2001 Bumped by San Jose’s Mark Smith

8.Jan. 28, 2004 Hit by Washington’s Jason Doig

source: Winnipeg Free Press


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