Mathieu's take on the NHLPA and head injuries

Mathieu was thrown into the mix quickly in his new job. A week or so in, and he's already facing the CBC cameras to share the NHLPA's take on the renewed interest in head injuries in the NHL.

Here is the video of his interview with Elliotte Friedman: http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Sports/CBC%27s_Hockey_Night_in_Canada/Inside_Hockey/1239560253/ID=1839605580

Some choice quotes, culled from various places because I'm a crappy transcriber:
  • "I think the players' biggest complaint would be consistency. You want to see, I think, penalties kinda across the board for whatever type of player is being disciplined." (from Montreal Gazette)
  • "The one thing that (the Chara hit on Pacioretty has) done, it's certainly brought a lot of attention to the fact that we need to look at certain changes in our game and that conversation and that process has begun." (from Montreal Gazette)
  • "The biggest difference, and again this is what we're hearing back from the guys, is that the guys are bigger, stronger, faster. Maybe it's calling the rules that are in place now differently. Allowing for more holdups, more interference. I don't want to see things like hooking creep back into our game, but maybe we can have more picks. To slow the game down, as much as a lot of people might not want to do it, that could be the right thing to do at this point." (from Montreal Gazette)
  • "You get the general feeling guys seem to think that there hasn't been anything malicious. The main difference now is you have guys who are 6-4, 6-5, 230 pounds, moving at high speeds. That's when you're going to get big collisions. (from the Sporting News)

Despite my weak skills, here is one I did transcribe myself, because I didn't see it elsewhere, and I thought it was an important one. 
  • "I would like to see a coach, a trainer, a general manager, look at each situation, and treat it as though 'what would I do if this was my son.' Even if you were able to sit on the bench and say 'I'm fine, I'm fine, I can go right back out,' which I have, and I know a lot of players have, that's just the way things were... knowing what we know today I would feel very uncomfortable to let a teammate or myself or a friend go back out on the ice in those situations"
I was disappointed that I missed seeing one the greatest players in the game play when I was in Pittsburgh; I was also disappointed that a week later, my favorite player still playing missed a game in San Jose because of lingering effects of taking a lazy elbow to the jaw. But my cold heart smiles because those fleeting disappointments mean that those men, and those men's families and teams, have gotten over the "be a tough guy" stuff and recognized the seriousness of their injuries and the need to take a lot of time to heal the most important part of their bodies. That gives me great joy.

But boy is there a loooong way to go still. From the NHL dismissing the Chara/Pacioretty incident as a "hockey play," to the "Big Hits" highlights shown during TV timeouts in arenas (half of which show hits to the head), the "head shot" debate is going no where as long as there are still those who don't recognize the lifelong, life altering effects of traumatic brain injuries, and the role we each play in making sure we don't have a part in inflicting that on a fellow human being in the name of entertainment.

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