Yesterday, the Edmonton Oilers added another skilled forward by trading for David Perron. The skilled 25 year-old winger was drafted 26th overall by the St. Louis Blues in 2007 and was traded for another former 1st rounder, Magnus Paajarvi and a 2nd-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Perron is a 5'11, 196 pound winger who has played 340 games in 6 NHL seasons, accumulating 84 goals and 198 points in his regular-season career. Perron is a fairly consistent top-six winger and a great addition for the young Oilers team, however he does come to Edmonton with one major concern; his health.
On November 4th, 2010, David Perron suffered a concussion due to this blindside hit from Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks:
The hit cost Joe Thornton a two game suspension under the NHL's Rule 48, but cost Perron 97 games. In fact, Perron actually returned to the game after the hit and scored a goal, but did not play again until December of 2011. Perron's symptoms didn't manifest immediately after the hit, but started having headaches prior to his next game when the Blues listed him as day-to-day with concussion-like symptoms. Eventually, Perron went on IR on December 1st and missed the next 72 regular season games.
Perron's concussion was one of the scariest we've seen in recent memory. Perron was unable to do anything hockey-related for months, as Blues GM told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Perron hasn't "lifted weight year or trained since the injury"before the start of the next season. Eventually, Perron returned to training camp in September and was cleared for contact in mid-November. Perron returned from IR in December after missing 24 regular season games due to post-concussion syndromes.
The great news for Oilers fans is that after coming back from his concussion, Perron accumulated 42 points, scoring 21 goals, in 57 regular-season games after coming back. Perron also added a goal and 4 assists for 5 points in 9 playoff games for the Blues. The fact that Perron came back and scored at the same rate as before is injury shows that despite the time that he missed, he recovered well from the concussion. However, with the concussion Perron experienced, he is most certainly at risk of relapse if he encounters another hit to the head. Whether or not that risk is more for him than any other NHL player is uncertain, but in today's NHL, it's possible any nasty hit can cause a career-altering concussion.
For Blues fans, Paajarvi has only missed one NHL game due to a foot injury.
Coming up: Posts on Concussions and Post-concussion symptoms.