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Quick Hits: Hockey Loses Another

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  • For the third time this summer, we must begin Quick Hits with the death of an NHL player. Wade Belak, a fan favorite (no matter where he played) enforcer who last took the ice with the Predators this past season before retiring, was found dead in Toronto yesterday. Early reports are indicated suicide as the likely cause, though I think most will want to know why he committed suicide. As an enforcer (he had been involved in more than 130 fights per HockeyFights.com), it is entirely possible that the hits to the head caused depression or worse. It is an issue that many former NFL players are dealing with now. We'll keep you updated as more information is released. [On The Forecheck]
  • Let's stick with hits to the head here and move on to Marc Savard. The Bruins forward was hit in January by Avalanche forward Matt Hunwick and has not seen the ice since due to a bad concussion. Yesterday, it was announced that Savard has already been ruled out for all of next season. More than that, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said he finds it unlikely that Savard will ever play again. With three enforcers dead, a former centerpiece on the eventual Stanley Cup champions career possibly over, and the league's star player still not ready to play, will we finally see the NHL make sweeping changes to rules, punishment, and equipment to limit concussions? [Puck Daddy]
  • The Blue Jackets locked up Fedor Tyutin yesterday with a 6 year, $27 million contract. I don't understand this deal; the Blue Jackets have officially made James Wisniewski and Fedor Tyutin their long term first pairing on defense this summer. Why? Not that this is a horrible first pairing or anything, but it isn't exactly championship caliber, either. The worst part is that these deals ensure they will be the top pairing until the 2017 season. That is $10 million a year for their top pairing for the next 5 years, which isn't all that bad considering, but these two are not franchise defenseman (at least not yet). Columbus has taken one hell of a risk on two defensemen who could be all stars someday. [The Cannon]
  • The Free Press has an article up detailing what Chris Osgood is doing until his new job truly begins at training camp. [Detroit Free Press]
  • Continuing the theme of head safety today, the OHL has made the switch from hard pad caps to soft ones in an attempt to lessen damage caused by them. [NBC Sports]
  • Eight Legged Freaks, a fellow Wings blog that disappeared last October, has reopened and has already begun posting new content. [Eight Legged Freaks]
  • More concussion news: Matthew Lombardi is symptom free. Lombardi was traded to the Maple Leafs by the Predators this summer when the Preds were worried he would not be able to play. So they traded him for Brett Lebda and have to deal with that curse now. [Pension Plan Puppets]

Discussion of the Day: What rule, disciplinary, and/or equipment changes do you think the NHL needs to implement in order to end, or at least limit, the concussions?