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Joel Quenneville: ‘We’re all responsible’ for concussion protocol

GLENDALE, Ariz. — In its video detailing a 20-game suspension for Calgary’s Dennis Wideman for his cross-check of linesman Don Henderson, the NHL acknowledged that Wideman had suffered a concussion on a hit moments earlier. The league’s concussion spotter flagged Wideman to be sent to the so-called “quiet room” as part of the concussion protocol, but Wideman refused to leave the game.

Asked if such a decision should be taken out of the players’ and coaches’ hands entirely, Joel Quenneville demurred, saying that since the new protocol was bolstered this season with league-employed spotters at each arena, that there are “layers that need to be passed before you can get another shift.”

“There’s a spotter, you have your trainers, and we have a doctor everywhere we’re at,” Quenneville said. “And we have coaches, and we have players. We’re all responsible for the awareness, and take responsibility as much as [we] can.”

The NHL currently is being sued by more than 100 former players claiming the league was negligent in its handling of concussions, and in educating players about the risks head injuries pose.

Eight is enough
Michal Rozsival returned to the lineup on Thursday after missing Tuesday’s game with a lower-body injury. Both Rob Scuderi and Viktor Svedberg were scratched. Quenneville still is unsure how long he’ll carry eight defensemen.

“We’re only looking at it tonight right now,” he said before the game.

On the rise
It’s becoming commonplace for reporters outside of Chicago to ask about Corey Crawford, as his profile continues to rise and he enters the Vezina Trophy discussion with his strong play over the past two months. Asked by an Arizona reporter if this was Crawford’s best season, Quenneville agreed. Sort of.

“I don’t think he’s had any bad seasons since I’ve been here, and I think that he’s only getting better,” Quenneville said.

Email: mlazerus@suntimes.com
Twitter: @marklazerus