The worst part about a lockout from a management standpoint is that the owners no longer can protect their assets. In no other business that I can think of do multi-million dollar assets just wander around during contract negotiations in harm’s way. It sounds as if the Colorado Avalanche are lucky that Gabriel Landeskog’s head injury only required a few stitches.
The NHL‘s reigning rookie of the year took a puck to the head in a practice while playing in the Swedish Elite League. He received five stiches and is cleared to play in the next game for his team Djurgarden. His teammate, Matt Duchene, is also playing in Sweden during the lockout.
For the Avalanche, serious concussions are not new. Their top minor league prospect Joey Hishon has been out for over a year with one – he was expected to make the club last year. They finally parted ways with Peter Mueller, who suffered through two concussion-symptom seasons with the Avalanche. Former Avalanche assistant Adam Deadmarsh stepped away from coaching because of continuing concussion problems.
For a lot of players in the lockout, the assumed risk is on them. The loss of money due to injury is a risk they take, but they try to counter the risk with insurance while overseas. Landeskog, however, is the franchise right now. One serious injury to Landeskog, and the Avalanche are going nowhere fast once play resumes…although for that to be a true concern, the season has to start first.