The NHL's concussion protocol isn't sitting well with Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich - just one day after teammate Jay Beagle had to be helped off the ice following a fight with Penguins forward Arron Asham.
Laich, the Capitals' NHLPA representative, responded to suggestions that Beagle wanting to hurry back into action following the fight on Thursday night. Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau said Beagle wanted to return but was not allowed because of the league's protocol.
"I really don't care about that awareness stuff," Laich told Stephen Whyno in a blog for The Washington Times. "To be honest I'm sick of hearing all this talk about concussions and about the quiet room. 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? We accept that there's going to be dangers when we play this game and know that every night that you get dressed. Sometimes it just feels like we're being babysat a little too much. We're grown men and we should have a little bit of say in what we want to do."
Boudreau said Beagle was not experiencing any concussion symptoms on Friday.
Capitals defenceman Mike Green, who suffered a concussion last year, agreed with Laich's stance on the league's protocol.
"You've got to make that call," he told The Washington Times. "I think at times the protocol for testing for concussions - they're just tests, they're not exactly how you feel," Green said. "That's just my opinion."