Vulgar Opinions: Is It Time For Jochen Hecht To Retire?
I tweeted back and forth briefly with Bill Hoppe about this earlier today, and his response gave me pause. My initial reaction was that Hecht should shelve himself, but Hoppe said it’s too soon to know if playing again is a good idea. I don’t really know enough about concussions and their impact on the brain to be able to refute that intelligently so I didn’t (and won’t) dig any farther from a medical perspective.
There are a couple things about this that jump out at me. The first is Lindy Ruff’s words; “emotionally unstable.” Given what just happened this past summer with Rick Rypien, Wade Belak, and Derek Boogaard, those are about the most frightening words you can hear in reference to a hockey player. I certainly hope someone is keeping close tabs on Hecht with those players in mind. The second is perhaps even more eye-opening. This all seems to have come out of the blue. No one (as far as I know) has been able to pinpoint a moment when it happened, which suggests to me that it probably didn’t take much. How easy is the next one going to come? And if Hecht is nauseous and emotionally unstable now, what next?
Hecht has been my second favorite player behind Vanek for some time now. I love watching him play hockey. But I’d love it more if he put his family first and called it a career. I think it’s the smart thing to do.