Simon Despres injury situation a 'sensitive issue' for Ducks

Sean Leahy
NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 29: Simon Despres #24 of the Anaheim Ducks looks on during the first period against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 29, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ – MARCH 29: Simon Despres #24 of the Anaheim Ducks looks on during the first period against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 29, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

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.

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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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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!