The NHL may be skating on thin ice. News broke yesterday that ten former players have filed a class-action suit agents the NHL. The former players are saying that the NHL has not done enough to protect their players from concussions.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Washington, seeks damages to be determined at trial. The players are also seeking court-approved medical monitoring for their brain trauma and/or injuries, which they blame on their NHL careers. CBSSports.com via AP
This lawsuit is not about dirty hits, or taking a puck to the head. It is raising the question of does a professional league hold sole responsibility for the safety and well-being of its players? The former players have also brought up fighting.
The player’s point out in their claim that the NHL has refused to ban fighting while team rosters often include “enforcers” whose main function is to fight. Yahoo
The end game here is unclear; the NHL has changed their rules in-regard to contact to the head. But that is not much help to the former players.
The league didn’t start a concussion program until 1997 and even with the mounting evidence, the complaint states, it waited until just recently to amend the rules to try and further protect players. CBSSports
This will take a long time to sort out, but it once again brings fighting and player safety to the forefront. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a lot more former players join the class-action suit.
The ten players that filed the suite are: Gary Leeman, Bradley Aitken, Darren Banks, Curt Bennett, Richard Dunn, Warren Holmes, Robert Manno, Blair James Stewart, Morris Titanic and Richard Vaive
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