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Author: Ruslan Salikhov (Russian Hockey Digest)Date: 04/03/2006
Who needed all this? (Article regarding the Emelin (Montreal Canadiens) incident)

2006 Russian Super League
Evgeni Varlamov
Evgeni Varlamov
Photo: www.metallurg.ru



By Ruslan Salikhov of Russian Hockey Digest

Just little over one week ago I was shocked when I found out that Evgeni Varlamov, captain of Magnitogorsk Metallurg received an injury during second game of quarterfinal against Lada and was motionless when he left the ice on the stretcher. Russian sports fans were jolted by the scary news from Magnitogorsk. We can lose him not only as a hockey player, we can lose him as a human being - these words came out from Mr. Velichkin, general manager of Magnitogorsk. According to him preliminary diagnosis was dislocated vertebrae, which means he will probably not be able to walk, forget the game of hockey. Velichkin also added that Varlamov received a severe concussion so this all sounded depressing.

About 5 hours later the new information came out that the diagnosis did not confirm and the only thing true is that he had a concussion. Two days later he was out of the hospital but most importantly he was back on the ice 1 week after that. Yes, 10 days after such "severe" injury Evgeni Varlamov is back on the ice!

Do not get me wrong, I am happy that Varlamov is fine and well, but I would like to know what really happened.

It is true that Russian medicine system is not among the best but I do not believe for a second that Russian doctors would actually allow Varlamov to play 10 days after a concussion Metallurg GM wanted us to believe Varlamov had. I am not a doctor but what I know is that concussion is an injury to a brain and it takes time to heal. How much time? I don't know but I love these search engines. Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia (www.nlm.nih.gov) has it very informative in one sentence: "if a child or young adult has lost consciousness (during concussion), that person should not resume athletics for a period of 3 months."

Ok, perhaps 3 months can be 2 months or even 1 month with all the latest technologies the medicine has, I do believe that these athletes get top-notch medicine. But I do not believe that in this case 3 months can be reduced down to 10 days. I am sorry, but it is either Metallurg is jeopardizing Varlamov's health or the injury to Varlamov is extremely exaggerated. In any case from that point Metallurg had no problems with Lada and won the series comfortably 3-1.

Who needed this circus with cheap tricks? Hockey is a wonderful game and it really does not need this dirt we often have in our hockey. I just hope that in Russia we finally understand that and clean up our game from dishonesty and fraud. Players should play clean and hard and general managers should pay their salaries and be honest with everybody.

And yes, it is time for Emelin to move up, he is really good player and excellent teammate, I hope this incindent does not have any bad affect on him. Alexei is a candidate to the national team Russia, and I hope that this story of "severe" injury won't affect his chances to go to Riga in a month for the World Championship.


Alexei Emelin
Alexei Emelin (Lada #74)
Photo: www.hclada.ru

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