According to Dr. Willem Meeuwisse, chairman of the NHL injury committee, the conundrum with this type of injury is that while a doctor can analyze the severity (or grade) of a concussion, it is the thing he cannot measure—how an athlete feels—that should determine treatment, and that is difficult for the athlete to evaluate. "As a player, you're gauging yourself," says Meeuwisse, "but the part of you that's doing the gauging, your brain, isn't functioning properly."
Aside from making him a little rusty, a year on the sidelines would not hurt Lindros. Critics have characterized him as selfish, but just about everything Lindros did in the past two seasons was with the team's fortunes in mind. He nearly died of internal bleeding in April 1999 after puncturing a lung in a game against the Predators and not telling team doctors about the severity of his chest pain. His decision to play four regular-season games in March despite obvious post-concussion syndrome may have been foolish, but his motivation was to shed his reputation as a corn-plainer. If, after Lindros sits out a year, doctors give him the green light to play, he still has time and opportunity to win that elusive Stanley Cup.
Roger Neilson's Future
Memo to League: Hire Him Now
Roger Neilson desperately wants to coach again, but if no team is willing to put a 66-year-old who is recovering from multiple myeloma behind the bench, then the league should add him to its hockey department Unlike other major corporations, the NHL invests little in research and development, an effort that Neilson would be uniquely qualified to lead.
Neilson, who coached the Flyers until last February, was always an innovator. Once, as a juniors coach in Peterborough, Ont., he substituted a defense-man for his goaltender to face a penalty shot. As soon as the bewildered shooter skated toward the net, the defenseman rushed out of the crease and stripped him of the puck. Neilson's ploy forced a rule change at three levels of hockey.
Neilson still has a lot to offer, even if NHL teams are reluctant to hire him as a coach. Instead of working for just one team, he should be working for all 30.