Faced with a mushrooming epidemic of star players being sidelined by head injuries, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced today that concussions will be banned from the sport of hockey, effective immediately.
“This has gotten out of hand. We’ve got guys that are so strung out on concussions they can’t remember their own name,” Bettman said. “From now on, any player caught receiving a concussion will be suspended indefinitely, potentially for their entire career. We’re putting our foot down on this.”
The league has come under heavy criticism this year for doing too little to address the issue, and with stars like Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux and Chris Pronger put on the sidelines in recent weeks, rancor among media, players and fans has only intensified.
“It has to stop,” Bettman said. “We’ve got guys laying down motionless on the ice for five, ten minutes during games. It’s an addiction that’s bringing down our sport. Hockey is about fighting, it’s about hard-hitting action. When a player can’t get punched in the face without needing a brain jiggling fix, what have we become?”
Apparently unaware of Bettman’s news conference, NHL Vice President Brendan Shanahan audibly sighed when asked about the new league provisions.
“Dammit, you let him watch one episode of Intervention,” Shanahan said, in between producing six head-shot suspension videos. “If you guys have any ideas, I’m all ears. But hey, while you’re here, you think I can suspend Mike Millbury for hitting a kid?”
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