Former NHL players Dan Fritsche (pictured) and Chris Ferraro are the latest names to pop up in concussion-related legal actions toward the league, as TSN’s Rick Westhead reports that they were mentioned in a lawsuit filed in New York on July 25.
The gist of this suit is that the league downplayed risks related to head injuries/concussions, including allegedly failing to share the findings of studies with players. Westhead passes along this passage from the lawsuit, which provides a summary of their argument:
“The NHL has intentionally created, fostered, and promoted a culture of extreme violence, including violence from fighting. The NHL has known that, due to such violence, head trauma to plaintiffs and the class has been and is imminent,” the lawsuit says. “The NHL has known that head trauma to plaintiffs and the class has and will be devastating and long-term negative health effects. Despite this knowledge and to maintain its revenue stream from violent construct, the NHL has and does intentionally subject plaintiffs and the class to head trauma.”
One interesting element of the lawsuit is that their representatives reportedly called on the league to begin a “medical monitoring program” for former and current players suffering from such injuries.
Some of the other details are a little fuzzier at this time, possibly because some elements are subject to change. Westhead’s report indicates that lawyers might eventually pursue a class-action lawsuit with about 100 people involved while the case already may involve damages of “more than $5 million.”
This is the fifth lawsuit related to concussions in the NHL, as word surfaced of the fourth one late in July. Here’s a quick look back at the threats of legal action:
Two different suits sprouted up a few months earlier in April. One involved former players such as Dan LaCouture, Dan Keczmer and Mike Peluso while another (filed in Minnesota) included players such as Dave Christian, Reed Larson and William Bennett.
The Los Angeles Kings lost one of their most veteran defensemen on Tuesday, as the club announced Matt Greene would be out indefinitely following shoulder surgery.
Greene, 32, had only appeared in three games this season, missing extensive time with the ailment. He had recently resumed skating with teammates and looked to be on the way back to a return, but never got to the point where he was participating in drills, or taking contact.
If Greene misses extensive time, L.A. could be in the market for a defenseman come trade deadline day, like they were last year before acquiring Andrej Sekera from Carolina. Greene is one of the most playoff-tested players on the L.A. roster, with 79 games and two Stanley Cups on his resume (and another Stanley Cup Final, with Edmonton in 2006).
Looks like the Canucks will have an interesting lineup tonight
But hold on, that doesn’t necessarily mean Pedan will make his NHL debut tonight. This morning, the Canucks announced they’d called up d-man Alex Biega from AHL Utica. Theoretically, inserting Biega could allow the offensively inclined Yannick Weber to move up to forward. Biega and Weber both shoot right. Pedan shoots left.
But wait, there exists another possibility — that both Pedan and Biega could play. That will depend on Chris Tanev‘s status. He got banged up yesterday as well, though he was able to skate this morning.
Weber likely to skate as a forward tonight. Biega may play instead of Pedan. If Tanev can't go, both will play. #Canucks
The Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee added some big names on Tuesday — most notably, a pair of Hockey Hall of Famers.
Ron Francis (inducted in 2007) and Jarri Kurri (2001) have been appointed to the committee, the Hall announced. Longtime hockey scribe and hockey insider Bob McKenzie was also named; together, he and Francis and Kurri will replace an outgoing trio of Lanny McDonald, Mike Emrick and Peter Stastny.
Francis currently serves as the GM in Carolina while Kurri holds the same title with Jokerit of the KHL.
McDonald resigned his spot on the committee to become chairman, while the terms of Stastny and Emrick expired.
The Hall also announced Eric Duhatschek, Michael Farber and Bill Torrey were reappointed to the selection committee for a further three-year term.
The next big meeting for the new members of the selection committee comes in late June, when everyone gathers to consider candidates for the 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame.
The announcement for new inductees will be made on June 27. As we’ve written about in the past, the list of first-time eligible entrants isn’t exactly overwhelming, so this could be the year some “passed over” candidates get in.
Among those in that category? Eric Lindros, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi and Jeremy Roenick, to name a few.