«

»

Apr 29

NHL Special Report

The Blitz
As the NFL Draft captures most eyes, headlines, and media attention, some major developments in the world of hockey are taking place.   Major litigation is underway in a number of areas.  Players question Bettman’s decision to prohibit them from playing and representing their countries on the world’s greatest Olympic stage.  Both current and retired players are suffering, many are dying, as the NHL denies any wrong doing and seems oblivious to the fact that the men who play the game are human beings and not holographic characters in a virtual reality world.  In a game where skill and strategy should be desired and favored over violence and blood on the ice, those at the top of the food chain wish to continue to promote a gladiatorial style contest in which it’s desirable to bring an opponent as close to death as possible.  Hockey is a fast, unpredictable and thrilling game!  Must it also be a game of Russian Roulette for those on the ice?  Here’s a look at a few headlines and a few stories that should be.

⚖️Litigation Lane:

NHL Concussion Litigation

The stage is set.

6News
xxx

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x
x

Click here for the full story

For months the NHL demanded every shred of CTE research done at Boston University. Dr. Ann McKee responded at first that she couldn’t release confidential medical records and tried to explain the peer review process and the scrutiny of the research that her research and that of her colleagues had undergone and why it was not necessary to have every shred of raw material and correspondence that the CTE Center had produced since the beginning of the research. Dr. Bennet Omalu got involved and wrote a letter to the court in defense of the research.

The NHL pushed back even harder, demanding the materials in redacted form. They realized this would effectively put an end to most brain injury research in the United States and even the world, as it would have taken BU more than THIRTEEN YEARS to comply with the demand.  Robert Silverman picks up the story:


The good guys win one! The bad guys counter.

Mike Peluso vs. NJ Devils, St. Louis Blues, Chubb Insurance

💡Concussion Discussion:

⚖️More Litigation:

NHL vs. Dennis Wideman

This case has been called “Deflategate in reverse” because Commissioner Bettman doesn’t enjoy the unlimited power of his NFL counterpart Roger Goodell.  Mr. Bettman disagreed with a Neutral Arbitrator’s decision regarding discipline he imposed against defenceman Dennis Wideman. He took the case to court.  Here’s the story:

Wideman case

Click for full story

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

And how it finally ended:

But now the official who was accidentally injured by the concussed Wideman has filed his own lawsuit.

Henderson vs. Dennis Wideman and the Calgary Flames

Fighting is quite popular in hockey both on the ice and also in courtrooms it seems. As with NCAA student athletes who are unable to receive any compensation for work while in college and Minor League baseball players who struggle for to receive minimum wage, developmental league hockey players face the same battle. Last week a judge ruled in favor of certifying the plaintiffs as a Class.  Rick Westhead explains how this is a huge victory for the players:

OHL Minimum Wage Lawsuit


Astute observation from TSN’s Rick Westhead, who, by the way, has been absolutely nailing the coverage of all the lawsuits involving the NHL from the start.

🌡Player Safety:

Well let’s just say it doesn’t seem to be a huge priority.

🏒The end.
(Not really.  In the NHL there’s always another fight to be fought.)