Brad Marchand Calls Out Concussion Spotter, Apologizes

Brad Marchand was not pleased after Boston’s 3-2 overtime win over New York. Marchand collided with Ranger Jacob Trouba at the end of the 2nd period. After appearing to be dazed, Marchand skated to Boston’s bench. 

The NHL has a spotter in the arena overlooking the game to monitor player safety. They are supposed to call for players to be taken off the ice if they are showing signs of a concussion. Marchand did not leave the game until the 3rd period. When he was taken out of the game, Marchand showed his frustration walking down the tunnel. 

After the Bruins overcame a two goal deficit to beat the Rangers, Marchand told the media what was on his mind. “They had 30 minutes, 20 minutes to sit their and view the tape and call it in,” Marchand said in the post game scrum. “But they made me come out in a 2-1 game as we’re starting to get momentum. The guy’s up there busy eating pizza and cheeseburgers and can’t watch the game. So maybe next time he’ll pull his head out of his butt and watch the game.” 

Marchand then tweeted an apology at 9:17 pm Friday. “My emotions got the best of me after today’s game,” Marchand tweeted. “I didn’t want to miss any shifts with us being down 2 to 1. I know the spotters are there to help us and I shouldn’t have take my frustrations out on them.”

There is a lot to unpack here from different perspectives. Marchand’s frustration both during and after the game is understandable. In a close game, Marchand definitely did not want to leave the ice. After the game, still in a competitive state of mind, he let his emotions get the best of him. While he went too far insulting the spotter, he did raise an important point.

When Marchand skated to the Bruins bench, he clearly did not look right. Many people watching at home probably made similar conclusions. Yet, Marchand stayed in the game. He was also not taken out during the 2nd intermission. The spotter should have noticed Marchand’s reaction and taken precautionary measures. 

The spotters need to err on the side of caution. These players should be taken out of the game to be properly checked if they show any signs of a concussion. An injury to the brain might not manifest itself right away, as concussion symptoms can arise hours later. Playing through brain trauma can have lasting impacts on the person. They can alter a player’s life well after their career is over. 

An aspect of Marchand’s frustration was the fact he missed game action. Playing time should not matter as much as a players health. While that was not his main point, that is exactly why these spotters are there in the first place. The coaches and players generally do not voluntarily leave the game. These spotters need to be the ones making those decisions and act fast if the player needs to be evaluated. 

Story by Chad Jones

Follow Chad on Twitter @shutupchadjones

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