Injuries are a fact of life in a contact sport like hockey, but it is always sad when those injuries become so pronounced that they can severely impact or even sometimes end professional careers.
We have not reached that point just yet with veteran defenseman Adam McQuaid, but comments recently made by his agent have raised concerns about his health, both in the short and in the long term, as well as about his future as a player in the National Hockey League. As many of you know McQuaid was sidelined late in the season after he was the victim of an elbow from Montreal Canadiens veteran forward Andrew Shaw. The elbow would end the 2018 - 2019 NHL regular season for McQuaid and although his Columbus Blue Jackets would advance over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, it seems McQuaid was never close to making a return.
McQuaid's agent provided an update on his client and although he tried to put a positive spin on things it was clear that there is concern in the McQuaid camp about his health moving forward.
"He's doing OK," said agent Rick Curran as per the Columbus Dispatch. "He still has the symptoms from his injury and he's continued to get his medical attention, and he's following a protocol for his rehab. We're just going to have to wait."
The fact that McQuaid, a player with a long history of concussions in the National Hockey League, continues to suffer symptoms months after the incident is of great concern. It is even more concerning for McQuaid due to the fact that he is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and there is no question that this injury and its lingering effects will greatly impact his value. That in and of itself would leave you wondering why Curran would speak so openly about his ongoing issues, but it sounds like Curran is far more concerned with the health of his client than he is about making another commission off his next contract.
"He'd like to keep playing, but to be frank, the priority from my standpoint on his behalf is just to get him healthy," Curran said. "He's such a wonderful person. I just want to see him get healthy and we'll address what the outlook is then, as far as playing hockey and when."
It sounds like it may be some time before we know when McQuaid will be back on an NHL playing surface, and it sounds like perhaps hanging up the skates for good will be something that will be put out on the table when McQuaid discusses a potential return from this latest concussion.