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Your Client and His Brain

We all know that keeping in touch with our clients is vastly important for many different reasons.  But we can add another reason to that list: uncovering unexpected/unknown injuries.  In April, TSN reported that Ron Salcer accused the Minnesota Wild medical staff of negligence for failing to diagnose that his client, Bret Burns, had a concussion (concy, in hockey talk).  The TSN report documents how Salcer found out about Burns’s concy:

”I met with Brent in L.A. [March 6],” Salcer told the newspaper. ”We’re having lunch with him and [fellow client Derek Boogaard] and he’s telling me about when he hit his head six weeks earlier. So I’m listening to him, and I’m incredulous listening to him.”  The following day, Burns was sidelined for the remainder of the season.

!!!!! [Emphasis added] By no means am I faulting Salcer here, and it’s a good thing he recognized Burns wasn’t himself before he played another game.  Salcer may have saved Burns’ career.

And what a great segue this piece of news from early April is to a current issue for Martin Havlat and his agent Allan Wash. If you didn’t see this hit on Havlat, ENJOY (except for the result of him lying motionless on the ice which was pretty scary).

That hit knocked Havlat out of game three.  But wouldn’t ya know it, in game four there he was on the ice for warm ups.  He played a feisty first period until…this happened. That hit on Havlat may have ended his playoffs.

So what is the procedure for the medical staff of an NHL team in clearing a player to play after a concussion is suffered? Numerous physical and mental tests are carried out which are then compared to tests completed by the player at the beginning of the season when brain status was normal.  If everything checks out okay, it’s up to the player and coaching staff to decide whether the player should be in the lineup.  During the game four broadcast, the crew on Versus reported that the coaching staff told Havlat he shouldn’t play, to which Havlat responded, “Who’s gonna stop me?”  Well, besides Brad Stuart of the Detroit Red Wings, no one.  Should this be a situation in which the agent should get involved?  If my client is Havlat, I’m telling him there’s no [expletive] way he should be playing.

The result of all this is that Havlat is questionable for a decisive game five in Detroit and, more importantly, adds another injury to the long list Havlat has incurred in his career.  And, oh yeah, Havlat’s contract expires after the playoffs.

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