In 2019, while still playing with the Minnesota Wild, J.T. Brown pledged to donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation in Boston. He became the second player to do so, following Ben Lovejoy who made the same promise in 2017. Brown, who played with the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2012-2017, just revealed his decision in an interview with TSN.
“I think about my brain health, with the style of game I played,” he said. “I was a small player, stature wise, and played gritty and played with lots of energy and tried to hit everything that moved… I don’t know what the impact of the fighting has been on my brain. That’s part of the reason I’m doing this.”
Post mortem studies of the brain can provide doctors with a ton of information on the effects and damage that concussions have. So much is unknown. As Brown points out in the interview, a player can have his head slammed into the ice and not suffer any consequences. Then he can barely make contact with another player and suffer a concussion that keeps him in a dark room with constant headaches for weeks.
More study is needed in order to understand the damage, but unfortunately it’s not something that can be done in real time. It’s kind of hard to cut a brain open and look at it while keeping the patient alive. So, at this point it has to happen after a player’s death. The more players that participate in studies like this, the better chance the doctors can learn information that will help minimize concussions and minimize the lasting damage done to players on the ice.
Lightning / Hockey News
Simon Ryfors is number 21 on our list of Top 25 Under 25. The Swedish forward is a bit of a late bloomer, but could have a nice impact on the Syracuse Crunch next season. Some think that he gives off some strong Yanni Gourde vibes as well. That would be nice. [Raw Charge]
It must have been Simon Ryfors day on the internet. The Athletic also had a profile on the 24-year-old center. Apparently Victor Hedman was brought in to close the deal as Ryfors had five NHL teams courting him before he agreed to sign with the Bolts. [The Athletic]
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will be out of action for the next six weeks following wrist surgery. The team acknowledged that he will miss training camp, but didn’t say anything about the regular season. A six-week timeline would keep him from making the season opener against the Lightning on October 12th. [Pensburgh]
Future hall of famer Patrice Bergeron is entering the final year of his contract with the Boston Bruins. At this point the 18-year veteran isn’t thinking about his next deal. He’ll play out this season and then work things out after. It would be super weird to see him in another uniform. [Boston Globe]
J.T. Brown drops some advice to children all over.