Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
Does Rick Nash have a concussion? My guess is no but the fact of the matter is, we simply don't know.
This past week has seen so many Rick Nash rumors you would have thought everyone went back in time and we were at least year's trading deadline. The reason this time: A rumor has spread that Nash actually has a concussion suffered from the hit delivered by Lucic in Boston.
That theory was thrown out the window when Nash warmed up and eventually played against the Washington Capitals in a 2-1 win at Madison Square Garden. Things kicked back up again, however, when Nash was scratched before the Rangers' loss to the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night.
Here's the thing: I don't think Nash has a concussion. I simply don't see any way the Rangers would have allowed him to play in two games if the brass believed he was concussed. Now, I get the fact that concussion symptoms might take some time to develop. It's very common for an athlete to take a shot to the head, feel fine and then start suffering a few days later. Is it possible that happened to Nash? Yes.
But what I take as hard evidence is the fact that Nash was a game-time decision against the Capitals. He went into warm-ups to "see if he can play." Which, back to my original point, would never happen if what he was testing was a headache or other concussion symptoms.
Look, we live in a world when concussions are becoming a daily part of our conversation. This isn't 20 years ago, 10 years ago or even five years ago. Training staffs know about these things, they know the dangers of pushing a player when he is potentially concussed. The Rangers have one of if not the best training staff in the sport, they're not stupid.
Again, I understand that sometimes these symptoms don't show up right away. But remember how big of an investment Nash is for this team. Looking at it from a business prospective (which I hate doing since he's a person first and a player second, but it is what it is) Nash is a coveted asset. It took a lot to get him. He is a vital cog to this machine. He's easily been the Rangers best player since he got here. They wouldn't risk him.
Another reality of the world we live in is lying about injuries. Or at least not telling the full truth. The fear being that if a team released that player X had a right shoulder injury other teams would try to exploit that weakness. Whatever the reason is, things won't change in that department anytime soon. So to the fans who assume the Rangers' silence on the matter is a doomsday sign, I caution you from that line of thinking.
This injury can be anything. Can it be a concussion? Sure. Could it be a sprained ankle? Sure. Could it be something worse? Maybe.
The fact of the matter is we just don't know what we're dealing with when it comes to concussions, which is another reason why I simply can't see the Rangers risking it with Nash. A concussion is bad enough without adding more risk on top of it.
We won't know what's going on with Nash until he's back. And even then we might not know. But for now, speculating isn't helping anything.