Gary Bettman: “The science regarding C.T.E., including on the asserted ‘link’ to concussions that you reference, remains nascent, particularly with respect to what causes C.T.E. and whether it can be diagnosed by specific clinical symptoms."
You know what they say about ignorance, it's quite blissful. That has never been more true than when the commissioner of a professional sport that pays him close to $10 million/per year to oversee their league has to dance around it's blatantly obvious connection to life threatening head trauma. I don't even blame Gary Bettman. Deny, deny, deny until there is tangible proof showing that repeatedly slamming your head into fiberglass compromises the contents of it. I know it's easy to make the association since playing hockey lends itself to concussions and multiple concussions are the primary cause of CTE, but it's not too difficult to swerve from that line of thinking when the integrity of your business hinges on your ability to take a detour around rational thought.
So a couple of former players suffered from clinical depression, couldn't leave their house without sunglasses on for months at a time, and pondered/committed suicide. Whose to say the brain injuries they incurred from violently banging their head on a sheet of ice after colliding with some of the toughest athletes throughout the world had anything to do with that? It might seem like elementary arithmetic but A + B ≠ CTE. Not necessarily anyway, and that's all Gary Bettman really needs to hear. No matter how many safety precautions are taken, hockey is always going to be a dangerous sport that jeopardizes it's participants long term mental health. To what extent? Well, that's for common sense to tell you, not the person whose finances and reputation are staked to a league that entrusts him to illicit all forms of transparent obliviousness to uphold their image.