Last night’s Toronto Maple Leafs game against the Montreal Canadiens wasn’t all fun and games. In the beginning of the third period a fight between Colton Orr and George Parros ended tragically with Parros leaving the ice on a stretcher. During the fight Orr slipped while Parros was throwing a punch causing Parros to fall head first into the ice. Parros was taken to hospital for observation and the Canadiens later said that he did indeed have a concussion.
Players from both teams talked to the media about the incident after the game (quotes from NHL.com):
“I was scared, obviously,” said Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer, who was a few feet from the fight. “That’s the [unfortunate] part of the game right there, when guys get hurt and possibly seriously hurt. I heard from some of the guys that he was talking and he was coherent, so that’s good. But that’s a real [unfortunate] part of the game; you don’t want to see guys get hurt like that. Those guys go out there and fight, they’ve got a ton of heart and a ton of soul and they really do a lot for your team. That’s probably the toughest job in all of sports, so there’s a ton of respect for those guys.”
“Whether it happens to your team or the other team it makes no difference, that’s not fun to see. It’s always tough to come back and play after an incident like that,” Canadiens forward Danny Briere said. “There are things sometimes that are more important than this game we play.”
This injury will no doubt bring up the fighting in hockey debate again. The truth is it was a freak accident and there are new rules that have been put in place to protect against this kind of injury. It is now an extra penalty to fight without a helmet for exactly this reason. If Parros had not been wearing his helmet his injury would have been much worse. Also guys trip over each other all the time when they are just skating around there didn’t have to be a fight for this to happen.
The truth is that hockey is a dangerous sport. It is unfortunate but injuries do happen. For more on the fighting debate take a look at my new series Hockey Fights- A Player’s Perspective. For up to date news on Parros’s condition and other injuries follow us on twitter or like us on facebook.