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An unscientific poll on how to limit concussions in NHL

Ray Shero has a bone to pick with the way the discussion about better preventing player concussions has been framed.

The Penguins' general manager said all the talk heading into next month's general managers meetings is about what measures the league should take.

"Throw it back to the players, too," Shero said.

"Everything gets thrown back to the managers and the league. But what about the players?"

Specifically, Shero said he is curious if players would reduce the size and hardness of their shoulder and elbow pads, both of which can be used as pretty potent battering rams.

Both pieces of equipment have soft caps to lessen their blows. But Shero wants to know if players would reduce sizes further.

"Poll the players," he said.

So, we did.

Asked if they would be willing to reduce the size and hardness of their pads to perhaps help prevent concussions, 10 of 11 Lightning players surveyed said yes.

There were some caveats.

"As long as the (shoulder pads) still protect you along the boards," center Steven Stamkos said.

"As long as you won't hurt your elbow if you fall," right wing Teddy Purcell said.

The only player who said no was right wing Steve Downie, who said, "You've got to protect your shoulder. You start taking away padding, I don't think that's a good idea."

To be fair, even Blues GM Doug Armstrong isn't sold on reducing pad size and hardness.

"If you take the caps off the shoulders, then guys are getting separated shoulders getting hit into the boards," he said. "There's always a reaction to every action, so you want to make sure you're looking at all the different variables that come into play."

Which is why captain Vinny Lecavalier said to take the variables out of the discussion when it comes to reducing concussions from hits to the head.

"I don't think that makes a difference," he said of pad sizes. "Suspensions, that would do it. It has to be black and white."

An unscientific poll on how to limit concussions in NHL 02/12/11 [Last modified: Sunday, February 13, 2011 12:54pm]

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