No decrease of concussions in NHL

The number of concussions reported by NHL players remains unchanged from last season despite the league's attempt to reduce the injury by creating a rule outlawing blindside hits to the head.

NHL's neuropsychologist Dr. Ruben Echemendia told The Canadian Press on Friday that 33 concussions had been reported as of Dec. 1 -- the same number as last year. He noted that it doesn't necessarily mean the rule change has been ineffective.

Echemendia tells CP, "we need to very carefully follow the concussions this year and next year and see to what extent the rule changes have or have not had a change in behavior."

A new rule allows referees to call a minor or major penalty for any "lateral, back pressure or blindside hit" where the principal point of contact is the head.