Concussion Sidelines Carolina’s Cam Ward
The Carolina Hurricanes placed goaltender Cam Ward on the Injured Reserve list on Wednesday with a concussion according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer.
Cam Ward goes on IR with concussion.
— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) January 20, 2016
On January 12, Ward was hit in the mask by a shot from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Phil Kessel, a shot that knocked Ward’s helmet off.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) January 13, 2016
He finished the game and played again two days later but complained of dizziness on Tuesday and was subsequently diagnosed with a concussion.
Concussions are difficult for all players, but it may take more time for goaltenders to recover fully. In 2013, Ryan Miller and James Reimer talked with InGoal about their experiences with concussions, especially with coming back too early.
“Part of it is you lose the ability to focus and that’s our whole job,” Miller said. “I felt off for quite a while.”
Toronto’s James Reimer went through a similar experience last season, struggling for months after his return from an apparent head injury that wasn’t properly diagnosed as a neck problem until he was shut down shortly before the season ended. It wasn’t until working with what he called a “Manual Therapist” that he even realized just how off he had been feeling.
“I don’t know how to explain it, but lights turn back on that you didn’t realize were out,” Reimer said.
Ward joins a growing list of NHL goalies with confirmed concussions this season. The Ottawa Senators’ Andrew Hammond, the New York Rangers’ Antti Raanta, and the Minnesota Wild’s Darcy Kuemper have also missed time due to concussions incurred by shots off their masks. The Penguins’ Marc-Andre Fleury had a concussion in December, although it is unknown what the cause was.
On returning to the lineup after a month, Hammond echoed Miller’s and Reimer’s sentiments about their injuries.
“Any time you get injured it’s frustrating,” he said. “For me the toughest part was just never having been down the road of having had a concussion before. Not knowing what to expect and it took a lot longer than I thought it would, but I think there’s enough going on right now in the media and everything that you can never be too safe with head injuries now.
“Obviously in hindsight now I’m pretty happy that I did take a little bit of extra time to get healthy and not rush back.”
While Ward is out, netminding duties will fall to Eddie Läck and Daniel Altshuller, who has been called up from the Charlotte Checkers. The Hurricanes have 4 games in the upcoming week before the All Star break.