Puck Daddy- An NHL lawyer intimated via email that long-term problems associated with head injuries should be tackled by another league dealing with concussions amongst its former players.
A 2009 communication being used as evidence in a lawsuit from former players against the NHL said that the League shouldn’t study the long-term impacts of concussions on retired players, leaving that to the NFL, another contact sport league.
This comes from NHL deputy general counsel Julie Grand to commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
“Personally, I am … least interested in [performing studies on ‘the long-term neurocognitive and psychological effects of repeated concussions among retired NHL players’ because] I’d rather focus on the here and now and leave the dementia issues up to the NFL!”
The document states “the NHL has never done a study on the long-term neurodegenerative effects of those concussive blows amongst retired players.”
The NFL settled a lawsuit with former players for near $1 billion.
Okay, story time...
Back in my college days my roommate and I were looking for a bullshit class to take as a schedule filler. We, probably drunkenly, decided on 'Sociology of Women'. It may sound ridiculous that two oft-hungover college guys decided to take a class that would undoubtedly be filled with rows and rows of feminist women, but whatever, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Anyway, upon arriving we realized that the class was made up of about 120 women, us, and one other male. A male that turned out to be far too outspoken for his own good. Let's call him Mike....because his name is Mike. Also, we found out he worked at Applebee's and if his use of discretion hasn't changed, he probably still does. You see, Mike never had a problem voicing his feelings. Feelings that went over about as well as a yarmulke in Nazi Germany. One day a girl was discussing how a guy tried to kiss her twice at a party, and she had to reject him both times. No big deal, except for the fact that she described this as an instance of rape. Well, Mike didn't agree with that. The point I am making is that neither my roommate or I agreed with this girl's premise either, but we certainly weren't about to stand up in a room full of a 100 dry vaginas and tell one of them that she was overreacting. The reason being is simple. My penis is much more valuable attached to my body, but also because unless it's absolutely necessary, you should never go out of your way to associate with something that is so blatantly frowned upon. For us, it was girls frivolously crying rape, but for the NHL it's the concussion issue.
I look at it from the perspective of a family. The NFL and concussions are brothers, and the NHL and concussions are cousins. You always have to support your brother, but if your cousin is being a real asshole you can choose to ignore his existence. If someone came to your brother's house claiming he killed someone you would undoubtedly get caught up in the riff raff. If someone showed up to your cousin's house claiming he killed someone you would probably shorten the Thanksgiving roster. The NFL has no choice but to do a bunch of tests, because they seemingly have a new player succumbing to head injuries every day. They have Will Smith starring in a movie that basically takes a 'Cleveland Steamer' all over their reputation. Concussions and the NFL are living under the same roof. I'd have to double check, but I am pretty sure they have bunk beds. Concussions are just the drunk Uncle that occasionally shows up at the NHL's house for a BBQ and ends up spilling all the family secrets. I'm not saying the NHL doesn't have a problem, and I am not saying it doesn't need to be corrected, but the NHL isn't as popular as the NFL. It would be a mistake to engage in something that sheds such an awful light on their product. Maybe the NFL can just fax over the results of their findings, because without taking a disastrous hit to their image the best the NHL can do is offer up some fines, suspensions, and rule changes. Need not look further than Bettman's face in this picture to understand that...