COLLINS – Safety protocols in sports still have a long way to go
IT WAS IRONIC that I was just about finished reading a book on concussions in the NHL when I got the news notification that Gino Odjick had passed away at 52. He died of a heart attack brought on by a long fight against a rare heart ailment, but concussions definitely had an effect on his quality of life.
Odjick was a journeyman, a lunch bucket kind of player who gave everything he had every time he stepped on the ice. He was beloved in Vancouver, where he spent most of his career.
He was the Canucks “enforcer”. The guy who came on the ice to protect the “star” players, prepared to drop his gloves any time it was necessary. These players, including players like Bob Probert, were players you wanted on your side.
But being that kind of player took its toll. And it’s a devastating toll.
The book I was reading was called Game Change and the future of hockey. It was written by Hall of Famer Ken Dryden. The story is about a journeyman player named Steve Montador.
Doug Collins has had a wide background in the broadcast industry, having done virtually every type of news and sports broadcasting, including news anchor, sports play-by-play, and editorialist. His “One Man’s Opinion” aired on TV from 1973- 2013. He retired from his management roles in the station in October, 2018, but continues to write his column. In 2019, Doug was awarded the Freedom of the City.
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