There are always - and always will be - hot issues in the National Hockey League, and one that will never go away is the controversy around hits to the head and how the league has handled it. Last night, the suspended Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson three games for an illegal hit on Pittsburgh’s Zach Aston-Reese. The league made the announcement less than 24 hours after Wilson broke Aston-Reese’s jaw with a violent collision near the Washington bench in the second period of Washington’s 4-3 Game 3 victory over the Penguins.
The incident once again got former NHL forward Dan Carcillo going on social media, as the 33-year-old has been tweeting many informations on the consequences of hits to the head, especially after he lost his close friend Steve Montador, a former Chicago Blackhawk as well. It was reported that Montador suffered multiple concussions during his career as extensive chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was found on his brain after his death.
For months now, Carcillo has revealed some secrets behind the scenes of the league, and reached out to teams and active players across the NHL in hopes to increase concussion awareness. The former NHL enforcer went on by pushing and encouraging players to stand up for themselves and “get educated” and to “know the risks of playing hockey in a league that refuses to adequately care for humans.”
Late on Wednesday evening, Carcillo made a haunting statement on Twitter about his future, clearing getting inspiration from his friend Montador.
"This is one of the scariest and hardest things I’ve ever had to write but here it goes. I am pledging my brain to Ted Carrick and the Carrick Institute to be used for study and furthering understanding of the consequences of traumatic brain injury when I pass," Carcillo wrote, tagging the official account of the NHL in his tweet.
You have to admit this is a pretty huge statement to make when you are just 33 years old. However, Carcillo is aware of the brain injuries he has suffered to this day. In 429 NHL games, Carcillo managed to record 1233 penalty minutes, and he got involved in more than 100 fights his in professional career.
While it is depressing and emotional to see Carcillo makes this courageous statement, it is great to see he wants to help his fellow players and the future prospects of the game across the league, even once his time on this planet is over.