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Paul Kariya Retires


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Kariya was always regarded as a gentleman of the game, but I have long held a random, probably undeserved, grudge against the guy.

Early in the 1995-96 season, the Devils were in Anaheim and trailing 2-1. Kariya skated in offsides and fired a slapshot on goal well after the whistle. The shot caught an off-guard Brodeur in the unprotected part of his thigh above his leg pad (before pads extended a foot above the knee) and caused him to leave the game. Terreri came in cold and got lit up for four more goals and the Devils lost 6-1. I always blamed Kariya for that loss and ultimately for the Devils missing the playoffs by 2 points.

I guess it's time to retire the grudge. The guy was a solid player.

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It's a shame his career ended due to concussions (basically brain damage). The recent discovery of the seriousness of concussions has really taken a lot of the fun out of those Scott Stevens highlights.

Well the Stevens hit didn't harm Kariya too much. All the ones before probably did though.

I think Stevens also did a great service to be one of the first big name players to sit out and speak up until his PCS symptoms were gone. If a guy stops acting like himself... then what's the point of hanging on TRYING to play? You're brain chemistry is off and you're not YOU. I mean ... that's beyond huge. It's indescribable and up and coming guys need to know themselves that well and need to understand they are not the all-star hockey player they were until they're right in the head again.

Neurology is amazing and -- personally I think it sucks too because so much of who we think we are can be changed just by messing with the brain. I can't tell you how much that grumps me out. Man before long people will be having brain surgery to be a great hockey player, musician, etc. and so forth. You think genetics is bad ... yeeesh.

Edited by Pepperkorn
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Keep your head up.

You can still receive a concussion-causing hit if you keep your head up. In this particular case Kariya had his head turned but still up. Scotty was coming at him straight on but because Kariya wasn't watching where he was going, it effectively created a blindside situation. It was a clean play by the rules of the time, but I wonder how it would have been judged had it occurred today. It would probably depend on how strictly one chooses to interpret the rules. I would still say it's a clean but unfortunate hit.

EDIT: I don't think it would have changed anything had Kariya seen the hit coming. No matter what, Scotty clobbered the stuffing out of him.

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