Former NHLer and two-time All-Star Keith Primeau has more than enough reasons to fight the concussion epidemic which has plagued professional sports as of late. Primeau, whose 15-year NHL career was cut short in 2006 due to post concussion syndrome, was recently in Toronto to unveil stopconcussions.com, a website dedicated to educating parents, coaches and players about concussions and the symptoms that come with them.
Primeau, known for his status as a power forward and fighter while in the NHL is now raising concussion awareness not for his own sake, but to keep kids that are playing both hockey and football aware of the severity of concussions and just how fragile our brains can be. The goal is to re-direct players’ mindsets in allowing them to realize that after receiving a big hit or shot to the head, it’s okay to take proper precaution in assessing your mental health.
Kerry Goulet, a former hockey player who too battled concussions; former NHLers Mike Van Ryn and Jim Thompson; former Saskatchewan Roughrider and current Chicago Bear Andy Fantuz; Women’s Hockey gold medalist Tessa Bonhomme; and former National team soccer player Jason De Vos all joined Keith Primeau at the Hockey Hall of Fame yesterday to spread the word.
The website will inform coaches, players and most importantly parents on the dangers of concussions and how to prevent further severity if a player in fact suffers one. As a minor league coach, Primeau has a first-hand look at what is happening in minor league hockey.
“The parent who when their kid gets hit and I have him sitting on the bench, comes and taps on the glass behind me and says ‘Get him back out there,’” he said in an interview with the Toronto Sun. “And here I am still waiting to assess whether he’s in a position to return to play because it’s not that important to me that he get right back on the ice.”
Keith Primeau is reminded every day of the brain damage he has received due to the amount of concussions he has suffered. He has learned to accept the consequences but is not willing to watch athletes feel the need to play and put themselves in more harm than they think. If there is anyone who should be able to put in their input into such a hot topic as of late, whom better than someone that has been there and lives with the effects every day.
To learn more about concussions, visit www.stopconcussions.com