Canadian Corner – Thursday, September 8, 2011

Canucks deal with the news of the death of Pavol Demitra…Crash hits Ryan Smyth hard…Colby Armstrong delivers tickets to long-time Leafs fans…One of the Jets can relate to Sidney Crosby’s situation.


VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jim Jamieson reports the Canucks are reeling from the news their former teammate, Pavol Demitra, was among those who perished in the plane crash in Russia which killed all but one member of KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the second time in three weeks a former Canuck has passed away. Rick Rypien was found dead in his Alberta home in August.


EDMONTON SUN: Derek Van Diest reports Oilers forward Ryan Smyth was shocked by the news of yesterday’s plane crash, which killed two of his former teammates. Smyth played with Karlis Skrastins and Ruslan Salei while with the Colorado Avalanche, while Brad McCrimmon played with Smyth’s older brother.


TORONTO SUN: Kevin Connor reports Maple Leafs forward Colby Armstrong hand-delivered season tickets yesterday to Jean and Bart Wassmansdorf, whose family has had the same season tickets since 1937.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think it’s a nice touch to have player deliver season tickets to long-time fans. It’s good promotion, and allows for interaction between the players and their fans.


WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Ed Tait reports Jets forward Jim Slater can relate to Sidney Crosby’s lengthy recovery from concussion, having finally recovered from one he suffered last December, which sidelined him for the second half of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the NHL should consider putting together a support group of current and former players who’ve suffered from concussion, who can both assist players currently sidelined by the injury, and inform the league what treatments worked best for them in their respective recoveries.


  1. Concussion problems need to be taken more seriously. I myself had to stop playing hockey at 16 due to concussions. People think a couple weeks and its gone, but it can take a month, 6 months, even a year or more to fully recover. The doctor explained it to me like this….its like your brain is a ball with elastic bands going to the skull. When you get a concussion the bands need time to tighten up in order to protect your brain in the future. If you don’t take enough time, you can injure your head more easily, and more severely! Good on Crosby and the Penguins taking there time with this….hopefully they wait well past a full recovery to make sure Crosby gets the chance for a long career! And headshots should be eliminated from the game by removing the players that hand them out…..first time minimum 20 games….second time a whole season….third, life ban!

  2. I recently retired from the military after 21 yrs. and can say that concussions are no laughing matter. We still have the stigma aspect that needs to be completely driven from our ranks to get the higher up’s invested in
    taking care of the Soldiers. I suffer from bad Migraines that hit whenever they want, and even after MRI’s &
    CT scans, there was no evidence of any scarring or trauma. It changes your life in so many ways. If I hadnt
    had so many issues stemming from this, I would still be in and doing what I love, but with all the demands
    and so many deployments, there’s no guarantee that I wouldnt encounter more situations that may make it

  3. Hey Spector,

    LOVE your idea of a support group for players who have suffered/are suffering from concussion. That is the kind of peer-to-peer support that they cannot get from their doctors, friends and families. I think hearing from guys like Marc Savard and Eric Lindros (who both lost so much due to head injury), could really help in the prevention of long-term injuries… I for one am gravely concerned that as these athletes age we are going to see a rash of former players suffering from debilitating headaches, Alzheimers, and perhaps depression and mental illness.

    We can’t take hitting out of the game, but we can help those that have been concussed come to the realization that it’s not worth getting back on the ice if their post-hockey lives will be plagued by serious health issues.

    A truly great idea.. These guys give us everything they have to entertain us, let’s help take some of the pressure off so they can make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones if they are unfortunate enough to be put in a position where extended time off or retirement are the best options.