Report: Court documents reveal former NHL player treated concussion with ice bag

Rudy Poeschek (left) reportedly used a bag of ice to treat a concussion back in the old days.

B Bennett/Getty Images

TSN reporter Rick Westhead revealed an excerpt of a court document from the ongoing NHL concussion lawsuit on Twitter Wednesday, and the document reveals how lacking the treatment of concussions in the NHL used to be. 

 

Poeschek played 364 games in the NHL over 12 years, and he largely played the role of an enforcer on the ice, posting 817 penalty minutes in those 364 games. 

 

The 49-year-old has recently found himself in some legal trouble. In May, he pleaded guilty to one count of assault and three counts of driving while prohibited in Canada from two separate run-ins with the law in the summer of 2014. He was given a six-month conditional sentence in which he will be banned from driving and consuming alcohol as well as 45 days of jail time and a $1,500 fine for the two separate incidents. Poeschek was previously arrested eight times in three years while living in Florida in the early 2000s, per a story in Kamloops This Week. 

 

Because of his former status as an enforcer and repeated behavioral and emotional issues, many reporters and Poeschek himself have speculated as to whether Poeschek suffers from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disorder which researchers believe can be caused by concussions. 

 

"It does cross my mind," Poeschek told Kamloops This Week. "I try not to think about it too much. I probably hide what I’m thinking a lot of the time."

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The condition can currently only be diagnosed after death. Symptoms of CTE can include irritability, aggression, issues with impulse control, depression and anxiety. The condition has been found in multiple deceased athletes, especially those with a highly physical role like Poeschek. 

 

Poeschek told the paper that he is thinking of donating his brain to concussion and CTE researchers when he dies. 

 

"I think it would be a good idea," Poeschek told Kamloops This Week back in September. "Hopefully it’s no time soon. It’s something that you don’t want to think about, but it’s a good idea."

 

(h/t Kamloops This Week)