Colorado Avalanche: Facing Concussions in Modern Hockey

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Colorado Avalanche Scott Parker

by Nadia Archuleta

Not a lot of people are going to have a ton of sympathy for the Colorado Avalanche’s one-time enforcer, Scott Parker. He hit hard. And he fought.

And Scott Parker was just the kind of NHL player to suffer from concussions.

As former Denver Post writer Adrian Dater eloquently put it, Parker was a warrior whose job it was to protect others. “The Sherriff” roamed the ice of the Wild West during the clutch and grab era of the NHL, and he fought anyone who clutched or grabbed our heroes with too much gusto.

He’s paying for that warrior mentality now. Some days he can barely get out of bed because of dizziness, nausea and loud ringing in his ears. He’s even suffered seizures. At 35 years old, he had the mental capacities of someone at least 65, maybe 75. He had to write notes to himself to remind him he needed groceries.

Parker estimated he suffered 20 to 25 concussions as a player. But in those days, that was just called “getting your bell rung.”

Parker was part of a lawsuit that retired players brought against the NHL for not addressing the effects of concussions on their long-term health.

Next: Other Avs with Concussions