It has happened; the NHL has been hit with a class-action suit. With fighting and head injuries in the headlines it was only a matter of time before someone took aim the NHL, and now it’s a free for all.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court of Minnesota by former NHL defenseman Jon Rohloff. So far Rohloff is the only person in the class-action suit, but that will most likely change/ the very nature of a class-action suit allows for any person/person who have been affected by brain-injuries while playing in the NHL to join. It doesn’t matter if it is the player or a player’s family. It also doesn’t matter if the player in question is alive or has passed away.
All living persons who signed a contract to play in the NHL as a hockey player, their spouses and dependents, and the estates of deceased NHL players, who retired, formally or informally, from playing professional hockey with the NHL or any member club, and who are not seeking active employment as players with any NHL member club. [CBS Sports]
This law suit just opened Pandora’s Box, and the NHL will need to do some damage control. There is no way of knowing if this suit has the teeth to grab hold and cause any real damage to the NHL’s image, but it’s a step forward and it will put more eyes and ears on the NHL and how they handle head/brain injuries in the future.
All too often a Class-Action suit is viewed as cash grab, but sometime they are more than that. In this case it’s hard to judge, but I’m not at all shocked that this is happening and nether should players or the NHL. After all when fighting is allowed you need to expect a punch from somewhere in the back to come flying in at some point.
In the NHL’s defense players fully understand the risks involved with playing the game. They know they will get hit and punched and in some cases kicked. But, it seems that in this case at least; the risk of brain damage was never spoke about.