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Bo Byram Situation Continues to be a Worry

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Injuries in sport are a common occurrence, of course. The majority come down to muscle injuries, whether that be a strain or tear in the muscle, and can often keep players out for lengthy periods of the season. 

However, in recent years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of head injuries reported – many of them concussions. They’ve been around in the game for a long time, but quite often they used to be overlooked. That is, until recently, when more research than ever has been conducted into the impacts concussions have not just on players during their career, but also later in life.

Many studies have gone on to prove that players who suffer repeated impacts to the brain during their playing careers are at increased risks to illnesses such as dementia. As such, more sports are introducing additional measures to protect players and ensure that their welfare is one of the top priorities. Some sports have introduced concussion substitutes, others have introduced better padding to help protect players and reduce the impact on their skull.

One such player who is all too familiar with concussion injuries is Avalanche player, Bo Byram. Having started his career with the Avalanche just last season, he played 19 games, but only managed two assists during the COVID-19 interrupted campaign. But it wasn’t just the coronavirus that limited his playing time, he also suffered two significant head injuries which would add to the lack of opportunity he got on the ice.

The defenseman did recover and had made a great start to this season. In his first six games, he managed to improve on last season’s stats. Not bad going for a defensive player by any means, and goes to show why many people had considered him as a favorite for the Calder Trophy for NHL rookie of the year.

But he suffered a concussion in a match against the Vancouver Canucks in November, which ruled him out for six games. Defensive players do tend to take more hits than some others, as they throw their bodies on the line to take players out and block shots going anywhere near their net. 

And it seems that despite having returned against the Nashville Predators, in a game that Colorado won 6-2, he has either not fully recovered, or he has picked up another injury. It was Avalanche coach Jared Bednar who announced the issue in a press briefing, where he stated he would be out again: “It’s related to his head. He doesn’t have a concussion but he’s got some issues going on from his previous injury and he wasn’t doing great this morning. So he’s out.”

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But while they may have said he doesn’t have concussion, it is actually incredibly difficult to detect. 

But how will this impact the Avalanche going forward? Well, we’ve already discussed his impressive statistics so far this season, and the fact he is a candidate for NHL rookie of the year, so losing Byram is a huge miss. Going into the season, the Avalanche were +475 to go on to win the Stanley Cup, the favorites by far, with the Vegas Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lightning behind them on +700.

William Hill has ice hockey odds that still place them as favorites for the Stanley Cup, although their odds have dropped slightly to +600.

As it stands, there has been no indication how long he may just be out. He hasn’t been skating of late. The team says it has no timeline. All you can do is wait – and hope it gets better.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Brian Levesque

Hey Adrian, I know the team has stated that it’s not a concussion but it is head related so I’m wondering if it might be vertigo, which I believe is a symptom of a concussion.

Joshua Canfield

Thanks for the update AD. I really hope that Byram gets through this. I’m glad he’s taking the time and listening to his body. Last thing we want is him to rush back into the lineup.

Hoppyhacker

I’ve been a hockey fan since I played pond hockey as a kid in St. Louis in the 70’s. Moved to Denver in 89, and was thrilled to see that Aves come to town – been a die hard fan ever since, and skated and hung with my skating kid at Family Sport over the years – rubbed elbows with quite a few of our players. I loved the wrecking machine years, with the hits and the fighting, and the glory days of the rivalry years. But seeing all the casualties of head injuries, all for entertainment, gives me pause.… Read more »

Yan Girard

I am confident that Byram will be Okay. I am more worried about his return. I hope that Byram will learn of this situation and that he will be able to protect better himself in the different game situations.

MICHAEL C ZACK

You can never be too careful. You should research the DRW Johan Franzen’s situation. Heartbreaking. Wishing absolutely no Ill will but Byram’s career may be over but hopefully not his long term health.

Art Schwadron

This is why I think vicious hits to the head shouldn’t be in our game.

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