One of the moves made by Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray to fit Hampus Lindholm’s new contract within the team’s salary cap structure was placing defenseman Simon Despres on long-term injury reserve.
The 25-year-old Despres has not played since logging 16:08 during Anaheim’s season-opener on Oct. 13 vs. Dallas. He didn’t return to the game after the second period and Murray said afterward that the blue liner didn’t leave the game due to a hit and that this situation was likely related to previous concussion issues.
On a conference call with reporters Thursday, Murray sounded grim while discussing Despres’ hockey future.
“The Despres situation is one that’s a very sensitive issue and it’s one that my whole goal is to hopefully make it so that Simon in the end of all this lives a happy, healthy normal life and it’s going to take some time before we get to that point,” Murray said. “Really that’s all I want to say on this time on that because it is sensitive and I feel real bad for Simon.”
Despres suffered a concussion early last season after a hit from Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche. Barrie missed three games due to suspension, while Despres sat out 42 games. Then in March the Ducks defenseman took a blow that led to concussion symptoms re-appearing and him missing two weeks.
As he told Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register in September, the effects began to take a serious toll on his health.
“Well, I was sensitive to light,” he said. “Sensitive to noise. More emotional. I had headaches. Dizziness. Close to fainting. Stuff like that. … It was a challenge. It was dangerous.”
Despres is in his third season with the Ducks and first year of a five-year, $18.5 million extension he signed a year ago.
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