Colorado Avalanche: Facing Concussions in Modern Hockey

24 of 30

View image |

Patrick Wey

Patrick Wey was a forward prospect for the Washington Capitals who played much of his career in the AHL Hershey Bears. That sentence was written in the past tense because Wey retired from hockey just before the start of this season. Wey is 24 years-old.

The scouting reports that I read about Wey had a lot of promising things to say about Patrick. He was going to be one of those elusive puck-moving defensemen that teams so prize. He would have brought some great skills to the Washington Capitals’ future bench.

Unfortunately, Wey hung up the skates following two devastating concussions, which caused a great amount of problems with his health and made him need to re-evaluate his career paths.

On March 30th, 2014, Wey took on heavyweight enforcer Rich Clune. The Capitals were none too impressed by a fighter with 166 scraps of prior experience in Clune agreeing to fisticuffs with a rookie, but that’s besides the point. Wey was badly concussed in the fight.

Rich Clune recounted his encounter with Wey for the Huffington Post. He has since reached out and apologized to Wey.

"“I didn’t have the puck. He finished his check and kind of whacked my head off the boards. He was yelling at me and kind of signaled me. I took a half-step to get away and around him. He was pretty vocal and wanted me to turn around. We looked each other in the eye and agreed that we were going to fight, and went at it.”"

Wey suffered another concussion half a year later on October 24th after taking the brunt of a high check from Jay Rosehill and that did it. Wey’s career was ended. He is now pursuing “educational interests”.

My time getting to watch Wey’s career was short. He had some preseason games, and he had his brief jump up with the Caps, but I missed out on watching his career in Hershey.

I don’t blame that on him one iota for calling it quits. I probably would have made the same call, honestly. What really tugs at me was that Wey retired at 24 – through no fault of his own. It ended before it got a chance to speed up. There are a lot of stories in sports like Patrick Wey’s – and not just in the pros.

Next: Another Way to Play?