‘I thought he was going to die’: The true toll of concussions in the NHL

October 14, 2016

Twelve years ago, NHL defenseman Dale Purinton was supposed to tour the White House with his New York Rangers teammates when the team came to town to play the Washington Capitols. Unfortunately, days beforehand, he suffered a concussion when a skate hit him in the chin and knocked him out during a game against the New Jersey Devils. He didn’t make the trip.

But this September —eight years after ending his pro hockey career and one year after he hit rock bottom following his arrest on first-degree burglary charges— Purinton made it to the White House at long last, this time to meet with legislators about the concussion crisis in the NHL. He is one of more than 100 former NHL players suing the league for its mishandling of concussions and for failing to warn its players about their short-term or long-term effects.

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