NHL notes: Laich claims NHL too rigid on concussions

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson (L) is screened by Washington Capitals' Brooks Laich (C)...

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson (L) is screened by Washington Capitals' Brooks Laich (C) as he is defended by Martin St. Louis during the second period of Game 3 of their NHL Eastern Conference semi-final hockey game in Tampa, Florida May 3, 2011. (REUTERS/Mike Carlson)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:24 PM ET

Brooks Laich figures that NHLers are big boys and don't need to be "babysat."

The Washington Capitals forward wants the NHL to back off on its concussion protocol and let the players play.

"I really don't care about that awareness crap, to be honest, I'm sick of hearing all this talk about concussions and the quiet room," Laich told the Washington Post Friday.

"This is what we love to do, guys love to play, they love to compete, they want to be on the ice. How do you take that away from somebody?"

Laich was upset because teammate Jay Beagle wasn't allowed to return to the game Thursday night after being knocked out by Arron Asham of the Pittsburgh Penguins. But a player who shows concussion symptoms gets assigned to a quiet room and can't return to the ice,

"We accept that there are going to be dangers when we play this game and you know that every night you get dressed," Laich said.

"Sometimes it feels like we're being babysat a little too much. We're grown men, we should have a little say in what we want to do."

DIPIETRO OUT WITH HEAD INJURY

Injury-prone goalie Rick DiPietro is out indefinitely with a concussion, the New York Islanders said on Friday.

The 30-year-old was hit in the face by a shot at practice Wednesday and there is no timetable for his return.

DiPietro has struggled with injuries over the past three seasons, playing just 39 games during that span.

A knee injury sidelined him for most of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, while in 2010-11 he missed time because of facial fractures and knee swelling.

DiPietro has not played in a game yet this season.

ANOTHER CONCUSSION?

With the Blues set to play three games on the West Coast for three games, winger Andy McDonald has returned to St. Louis because of a possible concussion.

McDonald was bumped from behind by teammate Nikita Nikitin during a scrum and then hit on the head by the Stars' Vernon Fiddler late in the second period Thursday night in Dallas. McDonald was checked out by medical staff and returned to the game in the third period.

But Friday, McDonald said he wasn't feeling right and was sent home to see a doctor. McDonald missed 24 games last season because of a concussion.

The Blues, already are without Carlo Colaiacovo (concussion symptoms), David Perron (post-concussion syndrome) and B.J. Crombeen (shoulder).

STILL NO CONTACT FOR SID

Sidney Crosby still hasn't been jolted by a teammate during his first two Penguins practices since being cleared for contact as he recovers from a concussion.

The Pittsburgh captain, who hasn't played in a game since Jan. 5, took part in an uneventful skate Thursday and didn't take a hit at practice the next day.

Asked if there was any contact Friday, Crosby told the Penguins website: "Not really, a few bumps here and there but nothing major.

"Even typically when we practise, it's not the same physicality as you'd see in a game."

But Crosby was able to take part on the power play and work on his timing, and saw that as a positive.

"The more comfortable you get the more everything slows down for you," he said. "I'm starting to see everything a little bit better."

Crosby hopes to absorb some hits at practice to help determine whether he is physically ready to return to a game.

BUDDIES BECOME FOES

Philadelphia Flyers winger Scott Hartnell was on opposite sides of the dinner table with his close friend and former teammate Mike Richards one night this week.

Saturday night, the two will be on opposite ends of the ice, as the Los Angeles Kings play in Philly.

"It's good to see a good buddy that we had a lot of laughs with ... I'm sure we'll have a couple on the ice (Saturday)," Hartnell told the Inquirer.

"But when push comes to shove, he'll be rolling over me to get the puck in the corner and I'll be doing the same to him."

Richards spent six seasons with the Flyers before being dealt in June to the Kings. Hartnell said it took Richards some time to "wrap his head around" the trade but has come to accept it.

BRIEFLY

The New York Islanders have assigned forward Jeremy Colliton to Bridgeport of the AHL ... The Washington Capitals have returned goaltender Braden Holtby to Hershey of the AHL.


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