TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 18: Aaron Ekblad #5 of Team North America takes a check from Valtteri Filppula #51 and Leo Komarov #71 of Team Finland in the second period during the World Cup of Hockey at the Air Canada Center on September 18, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Update: Aaron Ekblad deals with ‘mild’ concussion

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Update: Aaron Ekblad is dealing with a “mild concussion,” according to reporters including ESPN’s Craig Custance.

Team North America GM Peter Chiarelli would only say he’s day-to-day during Sportsnet’s second intermission of tonight’s game against Russia.

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Tough news for North America and the Florida Panthers: Aaron Eklbad cannot play against Russia because of an upper-body injury.

North America at least has a nice option in reserve, as Jacob Trouba takes Ekblad’s place.

The belief (according to onlookers including Postmedia’s Michael Traikos) is that Ekblad was injured thanks to a Leo Komarov hit. You can actually see the moment of contact in the photo above, as Ekblad is almost lost in the mass of humanity.

Stephanie “My Regular Face” also has the GIF of the hit that may have hurt Ekblad:

Neither Team North America nor the Panthers have provided any additional information regarding how serious Ekblad’s upper-body injury is, at least beyond sidelining for at least this game.

If it’s significant, this is another bullet point for GMs who may argue against the World Cup of Hockey becoming a fixture.

Daly: NHL adding more concussion spotters this season

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WASHINGTON (AP) The NHL is revamping its concussion monitoring system for the upcoming season.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says the league will have four concussion spotters watching all games from a centralized location in either Toronto or New York, as well as spotters at each game to check for visible symptoms. Those spotters will have the authority to have players removed from games.

Previously, there had been team-affiliated concussion spotters in each arena and they could recommend but not require players be removed from a game.

Daly says the new concussion policy goes into effect for the eight-team World Cup of Hockey, which begins Saturday in Toronto, and that the NHL will release more details closer to the start of the regular season.

Related:

Latest development in concussion lawsuit could be bad news for NHL

Senator says Bettman, NHL are ‘in denial’ about concussions, CTE

Gabriel Landeskog hopes his concussion story helps others

Gabriel Landeskog hopes his concussion story helps others

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When you’re an impossibly young captain of the Colorado Avalanche, it’s probably tough to choose your own health over the best interests of your team.

That scenario presented itself to Gabriel Landeskog, and he decided to fight through the pain. As you can see in the video above, he regrets the decision.

Landeskog shared his story, stemming from an injury in 2013, with “EMPWR,” a charitable foundation focused on concussion awareness. You can watch him discuss that tough period in his life in the video above.

It appears that Landeskog was discussing this hard hit by then-San Jose Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart:

NHL.com’s game report notes that Landeskog delivered multiple hits on Stuart after that. While he was giving rather than receiving those checks, those moments still likely left the Avalanche captain vulnerable to further injury.

It’s easy to say “Don’t go back in the game” when you’re not in the situation, but hopefully more players will protect themselves in the future.

Landeskog isn’t the only NHL player to share his experiences, and some weren’t as “lucky” as he was. Take Joey Hishon, whose career unraveled thanks in part to concussion issues:

(H/T to CSNNE.com.)

Senator says Bettman, NHL are ‘in denial’ about concussions, CTE

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 30:  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks with the media during a press conference prior to Game One of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks at Consol Energy Center on May 30, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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This isn’t the first time Gary Bettman denied or downplayed the link between concussions and CTE; it also isn’t the first time that someone has been stunned by his stance.

Even so, it’s difficult to look away from the bank-and-forth between the NHL’s commissioner and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, most recently spotlighted by Sports Illustrated.

It began with Blumenthal’s letter to Bettman and the NHL, dated June 23, which cited the NFL acknowledging a link between football and CTE. He then asked Bettman nine questions related to how the NHL handles brain injuries and how it might be different from the NHL.

The New York Times passes along a response dated July 22, Bettman described the science linking CTE to concussions as “nascent” and reasserted his previous stance:

“The relationship between concussions and the asserted clinical symptoms of C.T.E. remains unknown.”

Blumenthal was “appalled” by Bettman’s take, according to Sports Illustrated and the Senator himself.

Perhaps you could chalk this up to a public relations battle of sorts, although TSN reports that this latest round of comments might provide fuel for lawyers working on a concussion lawsuit against the NHL.

“We should have the chance now to walk him through some of his denials and find out why he has made his statements and ask him what makes him so sure,” Lead counsel Charles Zimmerman said. “Why is he so willing to go against conventional science which says repeated blows to the head cause damage to the brain?”

As familiar as some of this might feel for those following the way the league is handling concussions, it could mean that the NHL will follow in the NFL’s footsteps in a costly way.

At minimum, it’s been a mess for the league, and it doesn’t seem like things will get easier anytime soon.

Latest development in concussion lawsuit could be bad news for NHL

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 22:  Commissioner Gary Bettman of the National Hockey League addresses the media during the Board Of Governors Press Conference prior to the 2016 NHL Awards at Encore Las Vegas on June 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The latest development in the concussion-related lawsuit between former players and the NHL could be bad news for the league.

TSN’s Rick Westhead reports that the Chubb Corp., the league’s insurance company, was ordered by Judge Susan Nelson to hand over the players’ medical records (after removing information that would identify individuals).

Westhead believes that reps for the former players sought that information – a request that was initially denied in 2015 – for two main reasons:

1. To see if “the records may shed more light on the prevalence among former players of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other brain-crippling disorders.”

2. In an attempt to determine how much the league and/or insurance company knows about the health situations for those players.

There’s precedent for such legal actions making an impact on cases related to concussions.

Westhead notes that the NFL was forced to release similar information in their case, which may have factored into a decision that resulted in a $1 billion settlement. It was determined that former NFL players were indeed more likely to deal with brain injuries.

Back in April 2015, the link between the NFL and NHL cases seemed beneficial for the former players’ side, as The Star’s Kevin McGran reported.

“This is precedent-setting,” Richard Powers, a sports law expert at the Rotman School of Business, said of the NFL’s settlement. “The claim (by retired NHLers) is almost exactly like the NFL’s.”

Now, that doesn’t mean that the NHL will face the same results as the NFL, especially since this court case could very well face additional twists and turns.

Here’s a quick refresher on some of the other recent developments:

It’s not the sort of situation the league would like to deal with, even if it ends up being in the NHL’s favor once things are finished.