Leon Drystel was in pain – so bad. It was clear to everyone.
The star center visibly had an ankle injury during a playoff round at the Edmonton Oilers last spring.
But as is usual in the playoffs – and often even during the regular season – the team only claimed that Draisaitl had a ‘lower body’ injury and remained able to play.
Despite such an attempt at diversion, the opponents knew well the nature of the injury of the German, who had to endure a few blows in the sensitive area.
The severity of the injury was not confirmed until Oilers – an ankle sprain was eliminated.
In the age of social media and covers from all angles, it’s hard to keep information confidential. Also, with sports betting becoming more and more popular, why is the NHL lagging behind in detecting injuries compared to the NFL, NBA, and MLB?
“There is a balance,” NHL assistant commissioner Bill Daley said before the start of the season. There is a balance between being more transparent about a player’s health and putting their health at risk. This balance was created 15 or 20 years ago in favor of protecting players’ health. »
“This is where we are.”
And while Daly added that the round’s sports betting partners did not ask for changes to be made to injury disclosure in order to provide bettors with as much information as possible, players know that the day fans will be aware of every pull, sprain or bruise isn’t necessarily too far away.
“If it were up to me, I don’t think people would even know our salaries,” said Max Dome of the Chicago Blackhawk Center. It’s nice to be able to fly under the radar. But I understand that this is the reality of today’s world. »
Deals between the league and sports betting sites are part of the hockey-related revenue — about $5.2 billion divided by owners and players 50/50, according to the collective agreement.
Contracts with casinos or other sports betting sites will only increase this number, but players are concerned about having to disclose every injury.
“We probably won’t have a choice anymore because of sports betting,” Oilers captain Conor McDavid resigned. But we definitely saw that in qualifying with Lyon’s ankle. been targeted. »
“It is a worrying thing.”
And Washington Capitals goalkeeper Darcy Quimper admitted players were likely willing to be “more transparent” about their illnesses.
He pointed out that this will affect the decisions of the bettors. We’ll have to live with that and hope the players have enough respect for each other not to target certain areas. »
But Columbus Blue Jackets defender Zach Ferensky said the opponent is always looking to take advantage.
“You’ve seen it with the drisetel,” he said. You can tell yourself that it would be fine to do this to increase the circle’s income, but there are two real sides of the coin. I would certainly err on the side of caution. »
Ferensky added that there is nothing wrong with shooting at an injured player, as long as it was done legally while playing.
“You would rather not know anything to play hard but fairly against the player,” Ferinsky said.
However, Philadelphia Flyers forward Cam Atkinson added that the days of never-to-be-published news are over.
“There are no more secrets,” he said. Even if you are the best friend of a player on another team, whether or not I reveal information to you, the rumor will spread quickly. »
“This is the reality of the world today.”
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