Brooks Laich tired of concussions talk

The NHL's protocol regarding concussions -- or "awareness crap," as described by Brooks Laich -- do not sit well with the Washington Capitals forward.

Laich made his comments Friday, a day after teammate Jay Beagle was knocked down in a fight with Pittsburgh's Arron Asham.

Beagle, who was bloodied and needed help getting off the ice, wanted to get back in the game, but was not allowed.

The league's new rules were implemented in March as a way to stem the rising rate of concussions in the sport. The rules state a player leaving the ice after a possible head injury must be examined by a doctor in the locker room or a "quiet room." A player exhibiting signs of a possible concussion is not allowed to play the rest of the game.

"I really don't care about that awareness crap, to be honest, I'm sick of hearing all this talk about concussions and the quiet room," Laich said Friday. "This is what we love to do, guys love to play, they love to compete, they want to be on the ice. How do you take that away from somebody?"

Laich, who is the team's player representative, believes the rules have gone too far.

"We accept that there's going to be dangers when we play this game and you know that every night you get dressed," he said. "Sometimes it feels like we're being babysat a little too much. We're grown men, we should have a little say in what we want to do."

The game between the rivals did not have the presence of Penguins star Sidney Crosby, who has not played since Jan. 6 because of post-concussion symptoms, and only recently has been able to skate -- in non-contact situations -- with his teammates on a regular basis.

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said Beagle did not appear to have concussion symptoms Friday.

"I talked to him and other than a fat lip, he was fine," Boudreau told the Washington Times. "I thought, initially, like everybody else, that [a concussion is] what it would've been. But he doesn't have any of the symptoms as of now."

The Capitals' next game is Saturday against Ottawa in Washington. Boudreau said it would be up to the medical staff to decide if Beagle would be allowed to skate.