Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Another Scary Incident

The man pictured to the left is a man I respect and admire. Brian McGrattan has been kind enough to appear on the radio show to speak about his career, his sobriety, and his life, and we learned a great deal about one of the toughest hombres to ever lace up the skates. But like most enforcers, McGrattan is a gentle giant off the ice, caring more about his family and hockey family than most would. He's respected by teammates and opponents alike, but he's still feared when the gloves come off. It's this choice in the profession of hockey that McGrattan found notoriety, but it's a dangerous aspect of the game that could have cost McGrattan a lot more than just a few bruised knuckles tonight.

Honestly, just watching the video of McGrattan's fight tonight had me very concerned as I listened to the crowd who didn't seem to realize what was happening on the ice. I warn you now: this video may be disturbing to some. I'll discuss more below.
That's hard to watch. The immediate concern that jumped out to me was a possible serious concussion. Nick Kypreos' career was ended when Ryan VandenBussche one-punched him and he fell and hit his head on the ice. Kypreos dealt with concussion symptoms for a while after that fight, and he eventually was forced to retire. That thought immediately ran through my mind after seeing McGrattan's face hit the ice.

McGrattan was stretchered off the ice and taken back to the Gulls' dressing room where he was reportedly alert, conscious, and responsive. That's a huge relief, but he was still transported to a San Antonio hospital to be checked out which is entirely the right thing to do. I'm guessing x-rays and possibly a CAT scan would need to be done to determine if any additional internal damage was done, but if McGrattan is up and responsive, that's pretty amazing considering the video above.

I don't want to get into the debate about fighting in hockey tonight. I'm just glad that McGrattan is ok. He has a wife and a son that was born less than a year ago, and his health is paramount in being a good father, husband, and family man. We can have the debate at some other point, but all I'm concerned with is making sure Friend of The Hockey Show Brian McGrattan is doing well after a very scary incident.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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