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Tweetmail No. 34: Concussions, Moves & Baton

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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Hello and welcome to a weekly feature on in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or other assorted topics and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully, the final product is insightful to some degree, and maybe we have some fun along the way.

Let’s get to it.

Can you explain the procedure players must go through to check for concussion symptoms? – Vickie (@kcracken)

In March 2011, the NHL standardized concussion testing throughout the league, stipulating that a symptomatic player must be removed from the game to be tested in a quiet place using the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT).

Now enter Doug Bennett, the Canes assistant athletic trainer, who knows all the ins and outs of concussion testing.

In addition to the NHL’s SCAT exam, the Canes give their players a vestibular (sensory system) screening since they’ve found that many concussions have a vestibular component.

In the case of a player like Jeff Skinner, his past concussion history is taken into account.

“One of the big parts of a concussion exam is past medical history,” Bennett said. “That’s something discussed with the doctor. It’s very well documented what role that plays in future concussions.”

And the quiet room? It’s exactly that: a quiet room.

“When you’re trying to find someone’s response time you don’t want the distraction of TVs on or other players in there bothering him or giving him answers,” Bennett said. “You just want it to be the athletic trainer, the doctor and the player – a small group of people that are focused on his healthcare rather than the craziness that is a practice or a game.”

If a concussion is diagnosed, Bennett and the Canes continually monitor the player’s symptoms. Once the player is symptom free, they retake baseline tests to ensure that their numbers match up, and a return to the ice follows.

Do you think there is any chance of picking up another depth forward? – Evan S. (@stancilee)

With both Jordan Staal and Skinner out of the lineup to begin the season, I got a decent crop of roster questions. To answer this one specifically, I don’t think that’s in the cards for now. Given the current state of the roster, I think the Canes want to give opportunities to their younger players – the Victor Rasks, the Chris Terrys and the Patrick Browns.

To answer questions about potential moves between now and Opening Night, I’m not sure one will be made there, either. Patrick Dwyer, who has been nursing a lower-body concern, returned to practice on Wednesday in a yellow, non-contact sweater. He skated on the third line with Jay McClement and Brad Malone, and might be ready for Opening Night.

“He felt real good and made it through the whole skate,” head coach Bill Peters said after practice on Wednesday. “I anticipate him playing for sure.”

Any bobbleheads this season? – Jake A. (@canescup06)

Bobbleheads are not currently planned as a promotional giveaway item this season because there is not a sponsor attached.

With that said, there is a really cool giveaway item for Opening Night: the Hurricanes scarf presented by PNC. It’s a premium giveaway item, one that I have a feeling fans will be wearing game night after game night.

There will also be a sticker set giveaway and more, so be sure to check out our regularly updated promotions schedule for all information.

Can you tell us a little more about the Canes Baton project? – Jamie K. (@jbk_ltd)


Canes Baton is the handiwork of Coop Elias (@coope87), our social media specialist. Modeled after RDU Baton and NYC Baton, Canes Baton is a collaborative photo project that will put an Instagram account in the hands of our fans.

RDU Baton, for instance, showcases a person’s life in the Triangle. The idea for Canes Baton is that each fan has his or her own unique gameday experience, from morning superstitions to favorite dinner spots to tailgating spreads to their seat in PNC Arena. The person holding the baton that day will then be able to share their gameday through photos.

This is a project that will feature photographers of all expertise, and applications are now open! Be sure to check out this page for more information and go ahead and make @CanesBaton a follow on Instagram. It should be a lot of fun watching the 2014-15 season unfold through various fans’ eyes.


Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you’d like answered or you want to get a picture with me when you hold the Canes Baton, you can reach out to me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.

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