The NHL’s Concussion Quandary
Hockey training camps are in full swing, and jobs are on the line. The rewards for cracking an NHL roster are great, but the long-term consequences may be dire. How many players take to the ice with full knowledge that, when their talents are exhausted, they could be facing a lifetime of pain?
A lawsuit brought against the NHL by former players, now working its way through the U.S. court system, is a reminder of the lingering harm that can come from excelling in a fast, tough sport. The group of 60 players, which includes Bernie Nicholls, Gary Leeman and Reed Larson, alleges that the league did not do enough to protect them from neurological damage caused by repeated blows to the head. Icons we remember as dominant masters of the ice now suffer from memory loss, depression and anger issues – the result, they say, of concussions that were overlooked or underplayed.