Concussions a bigger concern for NHL bosses than they say, documents show
National Hockey League officials internally acknowledged the connection between brain trauma suffered during hockey fights and “personal tragedies” stemming from “depression,” court documents show.
The Minnesota court, presiding over a class-action lawsuit brought against the NHL by former players, released internal emails between Commissioner Gary Bettman and several of his lieutenants. They showed a far starker concern over concussions than the league’s public comments, which have served to downplay the sport’s danger and attempted to distance the NHL from the National Football League and its concussion crisis.
More than 100 players in the suit are fighting for enhanced medical care and claim the NHL has not done enough to promote player safety or assist damaged former players. NHL officials have argued players should have “put two and two together” in assessing the health risks of professional hockey.