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“The whole concussion and the protocol thing is such a gray area. Everything has to be handled on an individual basis. … There’s reasons people do it,” Laich said. “I totally understand the safety aspect. On our team, if Jay Beagle’s not ready to play, I don’t think he should play. I would want to play. That’s in me — that’s built in me that I want to play the hockey game. If I’m alive I think I can play the hockey game. But sometimes you do need to be protected from yourself.”

Being such a difficult issue, count Laich among those who don’t have a solution.

“I don’t know if there’s any way we’re ever going to solve it,” Laich said. “You obviously have to look after players’ safety, but you also have to trust the players a little bit that they know their body, and if they say they’re OK, hopefully they are OK and nothing bad happens.”