Training camp has become a nightmare for both the fans and the players of the Ottawa Senators. Two days after Mark Stone was diagnosed with a concussion, everyone’s big health fear came true: Clarke MacArthur suffered a concussion, which is at least his fourth over the last 19 months.
The scene at training camp was an ugly one. Newly-acquired Patrick Sieloff threw a high, blindside hit on MacArthur, who fell to the ice clutching his head. Bobby Ryan dropped the gloves and fought Sieloff. Chris Neil also punched him up a bit later. As tough as it is to admit, seeing a crucial beloved player get injured, Sieloff is hardly at fault here. He’s trying to earn a spot in training camp, and he finished his check. I’m assuming he had no idea who he was going after, and there’s no way he would’ve deliberately injured a new teammate.
The biggest concern here is with MacArthur. He was cleared for contact back in March, but decided to take more time off to be fully recovered for the new season. We all knew he’d be taking contact this season, and the fact that his first big hit in training camp brought back symptoms is frightening. It may be time for the forward to start considering retirement. He missed 78 games last year with a concussion. Of course, I expect he’ll be given the best medical care and advice possible. I’m no doctor, so my medical opinions don’t count for a lot.
As a fan, I’m hoping this is the last sign of a divided training camp we see. I’m also now worried for the season, with the Sens missing two of their top six forwards. As a human being, I’m hoping for a speedy recovery for MacArthur, and that even if he can’t play hockey again, he can still be the best husband and father possible. On behalf of all of Silver Seven, we wish the MacArthur family the best in what could be a very difficult time.