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Brooks Laich of the Washington Capitals is not concerned about the new concussion protocol in the NHL. (File Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Brooks Laich of the Washington Capitals is not concerned about the new concussion protocol in the NHL. (File Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Darren Yourk

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Laich rips NHL concussion protocol

Don’t count Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich among those concerned about head injuries in the NHL.

When someone asked about the condition of teammate Jay Beagle after he was knocked cold in a fight against Pittsburgh’s Arron Asham, Laich launched into a lengthy diatribe on the NHL’s concussion protocol.

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“I really don’t care about that awareness crap,” Laich told Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington. “To be honest, I’m sick of hearing all this talk about concussions and about the quiet room. This is what we love to do. Guys love to play, they love to compete, they want to be on the ice. How do you take that away from someone? We accept that there’s going to be dangers when we play this game. We know that every time we get dressed. I don’t know, sometimes it just feels like we’re being babysat a little too much. We’re grown men and we should have a say in what we want to do.”

DIPIETRO INJURED AGAIN

Tough-luck New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro is on the shelf again.

DiPietro was struck in the mask on a shot by Brian Rolston during practice Wednesday and suffered a concussion. The team said there is no timetable for his return.

DiPietro has yet to play in a regular-season game this season and has played a total of 39 games the past three seasons. The 30-year-old goalie is in the sixth season of a 15-year contract with the Isles.

RIVET READY FOR ECHL DEBUT

Former Buffalo Sabres captain and long-time NHL defenceman Craig Rivet signed this week with the Elmira Jackals of the East Coast Hockey League.

“It’s not the level, it’s the competition,” Rivet said. “I know that the competition here is still high, there’s a lot of hungry guys that want to move to the next level and that’s what’s exciting for me. It’s not like I’m coming down here and playing against guys of [no]calibre. These guys can play hockey. It’s exciting for me to be here where I can further my career.”

Rivet had 50 goals and 187 assists in 923 career NHL games with the Canadiens, Sharks, Sabres and Blue Jackets. He also had 23 points in 69 Stanley Cup playoff games.

KINGS INK SPONSORSHIP DEAL

Best press release of the week came courtesy the Los Angeles Kings, announcing an expanded sponsorship deal for a concert series and arena signage with Rocco’s Old School Tattoo Balm. The company also sponsors the Ice Crew, the Kings’ in-game entertainment team.

“As a long-time season ticket holder and huge Kings fan, I am proud that Rocco’s Old School Tattoo Balm has created a natural synergy combining tattoo enthusiasts, music lovers and hockey fans,” said Dino Guglielmelli, owner and founder of Rocco’s Old School Products.

According to the company’s website, the balm will “rejuvenate your old tattoos to look shiny, colourful and new, while protecting your new tattoo from sun damage, and accelerate the healing process.”

RICHARDS RETURNS

Philadelphia Under the visor, Mike Richards still looks the same. It’s the rest of his makeover that still seems out of place as he prepares for his Philadelphia homecoming.

He wears No. 10 instead of 18 and the “C” has been stripped from his jersey. Oh yeah, the jersey. Gone is the orange and black of the Philadelphia Flyers. Richards wears a Los Angeles Kings sweater now, a uniform he’s still getting used to four months after his shocking trade out of Philly.

Richards returns Saturday night for the first time since general manager Paul Holmgren dealt him the same day he traded Jeff Carter. Richards was Philadelphia’s captain and led them to the Stanley Cup final in 2010. None of that mattered when the Flyers decided to transform the roster in the off-season, moves that have paid off with a 3-0 start.

NUMBERS

7

All Canadian NHL franchises are in action Saturday, with the Toronto Maple Leafs facing the Calgary Flames, the Vancouver Canucks playing the Edmonton Oilers, the Montreal Canadiens home to the Colorado Avalanche and the Ottawa Senators on the road to face the Washington Capitals. All eyes will be on current Coyotes captain and former Jet Shane Doan when he leads Phoenix against Winnipeg.

QUOTABLE

“He just said, ‘Boys, I’m going to get it.’ I don’t know if he’s tweeted much yet or knows how to work it. I’m not going to expect too much from his account.”

- Toronto Maple Leafs centre Tyler Bozak on teammate Phil Kessel’s decision to open a Twitter account.

“Quite honestly, you look at our first two games in horror.”

Calgary forward Alex Tanguay offers a frank assessment of the Flames’ start to the season.

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