Scatchard

The news came via Twitter today.

“After a long week of tests at the Mayo Clinic Dr.’s have advised me that playing hockey is not an option for me any longer. Wouldn’t be safe,” journeyman NHL center Dave Scatchard announced on his feed.

Concussions have cost the NHL another solid player and outstanding person. While Marc Savard’s future seems bleak and reports keep surfacing about Sidney Crosby’s alleged struggles to get ready for this season after having his 2010-11 season shortened by a head injury, Scatchard becomes the latest player to call it quits during to concussion problems.

Scatchard wasn’t a star by any stretch, but he skated in 659 NHL regular-season games and even scored 27 goals one season for the New York Islanders. Everywhere he played, he wore a contagious smile, was a solid teammate and was affable with the media. He played just eight games with St. Louis last season.

His Bruins career ended in a blink of an eye, as he signed with the team on a multi-year deal after the lockout but was promptly dealt to Phoenix by Boston after battling injury and skating in just 16 games. He posted 4-6-10 totals and an astounding 28 PIM as he struggled to figure out the post-lockout rules enforcement.

Earlier this summer, Paul Kariya ended his career after battling post-concussion syndrome, and St. Lous forward David Perron will probably not start the season with the team. The solution might not be as simple as eliminating headshots from the game, as some are suggesting should happen. There might be more that needs to be done. While the NHL has done a pretty good job of staying on top of this issue and exploring different means to reduce the number of serious head injuries, it’s time to kick things into high gear before it gets too difficult to keep track of all the players who don’t return after departing active duty due to concussions.