Did Hawks Mishandle Kruger's Concussion?

It's been the main story in the NHL this year, and it was only a matter of time before the Hawks became part of it. Every other NHL team has.


A week after Brent Seabrook didn't miss a game after taking a hit to the head, Marcus Kruger is still suffering from the concussion he got in that game.

We had our questions with the handling of Seabrook, because it wasn't the first time he'd missed little-to-no time after being circled by little blue birds. But the Hawks either got away with it or had it handled correctly, as Seabrook hasn't had a recurrence.

They haven't been so lucky with Kruger.

Kruger missed the Canadiens game after getting dinged. He was back out there for Columbus on Monday, and took a few hits in that game. He missed practice yesterday, and won't play tonight. And that's scary, because it's the second hit after the first one that caused the concussion that can do the real damage. That's what happened to Sidney Crosby.

Why was it so important to have Kruger out there Monday? Columbus requires half an effort and half a team to be beaten. Brandon Pirri had a good game against Montreal, and can be trusted for a few more games. Now Kruger may have had a recurrence.

Maybe he passed all the tests. Maybe he was cleared. But if he were truly 100%, a few hits wouldn't knock him out again so soon. Maybe it's only tonight. Maybe it could go on for weeks or months. It would be a shame if it did, because Kruger's probably been the biggest surprise of the year.

We don't know the details, and we never will because the Hawks protect injury info like a nuclear football. But something here doesn't smell right, and we can only hope the Hawks didn't cost themselves what had become a delightful piece when they didn't have to.

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