Bettman denies link.
Bryan Berard is the latest former National Hockey League player to sue the league because of long term impact injuries he suffered, including the loss of an eye, during his career. Berard also claims he had at least five concussions and that he didn’t get proper medical attention from his bosses, the various teams he was on including the New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Since 2013, the National Hockey League has a problem with former players. Garth Butcher, Mark Hardy, John Cullen, Ian Turnbull and others have filed lawsuits against the league under the same premise as Berard. The NHL and its owners have not given the players proper medical attention after they suffered a concussion or concussions and that has led to post career medical issues. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson presiding over the players’ concussion case has denied a class-action status for the former players suing the league. Judge Nelson issued her 46-page order in July. Players continue to sue the league individually.
National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, sounding an awful lot like National Football League owners, contends he has not seen a link between hits to the head, concussions and permanent brain injuries. Bettman would like to see the lawsuits go away. There will be more lawsuits in the future. NHL owners who have been deposed claim they knew nothing about CTE, the brain disease found during autopsies of former football and hockey players that probably was caused by repeated blows to the head. The owners apparently missed reporting which included autopsy findings. Football and hockey industry people know that the less the concussion problem is discussed, the better off they are. The business needs a steady pipeline of players starting with parents allowing six year olds to play.