Dreger: NHL used concussion protocol on referee Sutherland

Darren Dreger
2/2/2012 11:21:10 AM
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There is nothing unusual about an NHL player being escorted to the NHL's quiet room for evaluation, as it happens on a nightly basis in the league's fight against concussions.

However, on Wednesday night in Buffalo the NHL's concussion protocol was tested on a somewhat unusual victim...referee Kelly Sutherland, who was hit in the face by a puck early in the first period of the Sabres game against the New York Rangers.
Sabres defenceman Jordan Leopold fired a shot from the right point which was deflected in front before striking Sutherland in the face. Sutherland had to leave the game and wasn't able to return.
Terry Gregson, the NHL's director of officiating says Sutherland was given the standard SCAT 2 exam (sports concussion assessment), the same neuropsychological testing players receive, and he will undergo further testing before being allowed to return to the ice.
"The Buffalo medical staff did a great job with him and have transferred their findings to Washington's medical staff (Sutherland's home). Dave Smith, our Health and Wellness person on staff oversees it all, and makes sure all protocol is followed," Gregson told

Darren Dreger


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