If anyone knows the sting of losing a superstar player, its Bob Clarke. Maurkice Pouncey Jersey
. Through a tumultuous seven-year span, Clarkes Flyers dealt with the ongoing saga of Eric Lindros concussion problems. Despite never suiting up for more than 73 games in a single season, Lindros was one of the most dominant players of the 1990s, but Clarke still faced challenges dealing with the unpredictable nature of concussions. "I would guess that Lindros came back - even though the doctors said he was okay to come back - I would guess that he did come back early sometimes," Clarke told TSNs Off the Record. But regardless of how long Lindros was kept off the ice, it didnt prevent the injuries from piling up. "We did what the doctors told us," Clarke said. "We never asked Eric to play, to come back from injuries and stuff... if anything we kept him out longer sometimes." It was a cautious approach on Clarkes part, but in todays NHL Clarke believes that its the only way to ensure player safety. "Its identified so quickly [now]," he said. "They keep players out so much longer. And they should." As the NHL keeps moving forward without Sidney Crosby and other teams such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers await the returns of their own stars, the NHLs handling of concussions has shot to the top of the leagues agenda. The early response from new league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan has resulted in stiffer penalties for dangerous plays, yet players continue to miss extended stretches with concussion-like symptoms. Clarke sees a need to find the root of the problem. "I think (Shanahan) is doing the job that Bettman wants him to do, but I dont think thats going to stop the concussions," he said. "I read last year there (were) 80 concussions in the game, and I dont know how many weve had already this year. You can keep suspending players but its not going to stop. They have to figure out how we got here and change what we did wrong." As the NHL struggles to put an end to its concussion problems, what measures will it take to better ensure player safety? Nate Washington Jersey
. -- Jacksonville Jaguars first-round draft pick Justin Blackmon appeared in an Oklahoma courtroom Monday for the first time since his weekend arrest for suspicion of drunken driving. Karlos Dansby Jersey
. Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks have both agreed to join the team for next months tournament, leaving just one opening at forward and another at defence. Colt McCoy Jersey
. -- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been ruled out of Sundays game because of a sprained left ankle. Rob Gronkowski Jersey
. - Back from injury, Dan Cleary has lined with up with Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa on Detroits No. 1 line. - With Nathan Horton sidelined, the Panthers moved rookie Michael Frolik onto the top line with Stephen Weiss and David Booth. Dwight Freeney Jersey
. His sinker sure helps that confidence. Alvarez pitched seven strong innings to win his third straight start for the Blue Jays, 6-2 over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night behind 12 ground-ball outs.MADRID, Spain -- With the Spanish title nearly secured, Real Madrid now needs to turn its attention to beating Bayern Munich on Wednesday in the second leg of the Champions League semifinals. Madrid lost to Bayern 2-1 in the first leg last week, but followed that with a 2-1 victory at Barcelona in the Spanish league, increasing its lead over the defending champions to seven points with four matches to go. And to reach the Champions League final, only a win at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium will do. "The teams moment has arrived," said Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored his record 42nd league goal on Saturday against Barcelona. "Its a big game and were going to win it because were playing in front of our fans." Madrid has rallied to win five of seven times when it trailed 2-1 after the first leg, and has won all five of its European home games this season. Only Ajax in 1972-73 and AS Roma in 2007-08 have managed to advance against Madrid after winning 2-1 at home in the first leg. But Bayern has beaten the Spanish team in three of four semifinals. "We know that after the first leg result that Bayern will look to the counterattack, but we also expect them to show a lot of respect toward us since were playing at home," Ronaldo said. Jose Mourinho, who guided Inter Milan past Bayern in the 2010 final at the Bernabeu, has led Madrid into back-to-back semifinals since his arrival as coach. Knowing his team must score, Mourinho will likely change from the defensive tactics he used last week against Bayern when Madrid looked content to protect a 1-1 draw before Mario Gomez scored the winner in the 90th. Brazil defender Marcelo may start at fullback in place of Fabio Coentrao with at least a goal necessary, while Brazil playmaker Kaka could also start the must-win match. Ben Roethlisberger Jersey
. "Bayern knows if it doesnt score goals, its out," Mourinho said Tuesday. "I dont expect the Germans to play defensively." For Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, the return to the Bernabeu will likely feel bittersweet after guiding Madrid to the 1998 Champions League trophy to end a 32-year barren spell. But the German coach was fired at the end of the season following a fourth-place finish in the league. Four-time champion Bayern can become the first team to play the final in its own stadium if it progresses to the May 19 final, although captain Philipp Lahm and forward Thomas Mueller are among seven players risking suspension for the final if they are booked on Wednesday. Madrid has four players under such threat, including Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos. "Collecting no yellow cards but being knocked out is completely useless to us," Schweinsteiger said on Tuesday. "Well all throw ourselves into our tackles, just how it has to be." Heynckes rested several regulars in Saturdays Bundesliga victory over Werder Bremen with the title won by Borussia Dortmund. Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is expected to start while Daniel van Buyten (foot) and Breno (knee) are out injured. "Its a mouthwatering and top class game of football, itll be very emotional. Right from the start, we have to hit the gas pedal, get stuck in, and show all the virtues which Bayern Munich stand for," Schweinsteiger said. "The fans are fired up and so are our opponents. Thats all the motivation we need." ' ' '