Tracking a player’s recovery from a concussion is always a bit like trying to hit a moving target. The player could have symptoms every day for a month, then wake up and feel substantially better. That said, things aren’t going well for Simon Gagne, who suffered a concussion in the Kings’ Dec. 26 game against Phoenix and has missed five consecutive games. A couple people familiar with the situation have indicated that, at this moment, Gagne is nowhere close to returning to game action and that his availability for the rest of the season might be in doubt. The Kings would be allowed to put Gagne on long-term injured reserve, but they would only get salary-cap relief if they spent up to the cap maximum, this season or next season. Of course, things can change — and, for Gagne’s sake, hopefully will — but right now, Gagne does not seem headed for the type of short-term recovery that Mike Richards, for instance, had this season. Gagne has a history of concussions in the NHL, as he reportedly once had three concussions in one season. Justin Williams, one of Gagne’s closest friends on the team, said he didn’t know much about Gagne’s status.
WILLIAMS: “He hasn’t shaved his beard, so that means I can’t talk to him about it. I don’t have much experience with it, but I think with concussions, the less questions you ask, the better. The more they think about it, the more they put pressure on themselves, and stress. You just want your brain to relax, I think. He had a big beard last night. He said, `Don’t talk to me about my concussion until I shave my beard.’ So I look at him and I just ask him how his day is going.’’