Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog took a stand for increased concussion awareness in the NHL in a Players’ Tribune essay published Tuesday.
In the essay, Landeskog discusses his role as the youngest captain in NHL history, and playing through a concussion because he felt obligated to set an example for his team and stay on the ice after a massive hit.
From the Players’ Tribune:
In the business we’re in, momentum is everything. If one guy is moping around, it spreads really quickly to everyone in the room. So you constantly want to be spreading good energy to your teammates. You don’t want to admit that you’re suffering and bum your teammates out — or distract them at all.
Having a concussion is physically painful, but the mental anguish it causes creates an even more dangerous cycle. You don’t know how to articulate the pain you’re feeling and make people understand, and you also don’t want to let them down. It feels like you’re trapped in your own little bubble, and you don’t know how to deal with it.
Landeskog cites a “cultural change” happening in NHL locker rooms with injury recovery and patience, and encourages players to talk about concussion symptoms and take care of each other.
Read the full essay here.