Concussion Ends Sheffield Career For Canadian Ice Hockey Star

Pascal Morency Forced To Leave After Just Two Games

10.11.2014

A veteran ice hockey star has been forced to end his stint in England after just two games due to a series of concussion injuries that have left him facing a lengthy road to recovery.

Canadian forward Pascal Morency has been forced to end his career with Sheffield Steelers after making just two appearances for the Yorkshire club, due to serious concussion incidents in both games.

His debut in the Challenge Cup against Cardiff was marred by a blow to the head that forced him onto the sidelines until last week, when he took to the rink against Edinburgh Capitals. However, a second collision left the 32-year-old with a recurrence of concussion symptoms.

This left the player facing a lengthy recovery period and the club accepted that it had to let Morency go.

Coach Gerard Adams said: "We had looked forward to Pascal being an important player for us this season, but circumstances have acted against us all.
"Pascal is as disappointed as we are that our relationship can't continue, but it is in his best interest - certainly from a health point of view - that he goes back home to fully recover."

The player has a history of head injuries, suffering a fractured skull three years ago - an injury that threatened his life.

While he came back from that to resume his career, Morency will now be looking to pursue other opportunities.

Although career-ending injuries may be relatively rare in a sport where players wear protective helmets, concussion incidents do still occur due to the high speed and physicality of collisions on the rink.

As a result, governing bodies in the sport all over the world have had strict rules on dealing with concussion for several years.

For example, the English Ice Hockey Association has guidelines based on the principles laid down at the 2nd International Conference on Concussion in Sport, which took place in Prague in 2004 and reclassified what counts as concussion in sport.

These stipulate that: "A player should never return to play whilst they are still symptomatic. If you are in any doubt then you must leave them out."

Expert Opinion
How head injuries and concussion is dealt with in sport has been hotly debated in recent months, with a number of sports adjusting the protocols for treating head injuries in a bid to protect those who take part. In this instance the correct decision has been made and Pascal Morency has ended his career to ensure he can fully recover from his numerous head injuries and concussions.

“All too often we have seen players continue to play after suffering a head injury, which risks their health, as the problems associated with head injuries can be long-lasting. It is vital those involved in sport are able to access the best possible care immediately after a head injury and trained medical professionals are on hand to diagnose concussion and remove the player from action, as this will reduce the likelihood of further damage, which can lead to long-term health complications.”
Stephen Nye, Partner