Tag: Gary Bettman

Gary Bettman

Bettman: overwhelmingly players do the right thing


This off-season presents a slew of bad headlines for the NHL, something its players and commissioner both notice.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun caught up with some of the league’s biggest movers and shakers to find out how they feel about these situations.

In the case of the players, stars like Tyler Seguin and Sidney Crosby said that you must learn to be careful.

The league itself may try to do something a little more concrete to prevent or least limit future issues, including what Bill Daly describes as “an additional educational program.”

Even so, Gary Bettman seems confident that most players conduct themselves properly. He also argues that the NHL is doing its part, too.

“… We’ve had a variety of programs in place, we’re constantly looking at what we can do to make sure that the programs are touching the right bases and are effective, but we focus on what we think is best for our players and our game,” Bettman said. “As I’ve said, overwhelmingly our players do the right things.”

It’s been a week of updates regarding legal situations for the likes of Slava Voynov, Patrick Kane, Ryan O'Reilly and Mike Richards, yet closure has been tough to come by. With proceedings getting postponed, these negative headlines continue to reverberate.

Going forward, the league can only do so much, but officials would indeed be wise to consider every avenue.

For more thoughts from Bettman, Crosby, Seguin and others on this subject, check out LeBrun’s full article.

NHL ordered to turn over concussion data as part of lawsuit

Beyond Sport United 2015

U.S. Federal Court judge Susan Nelson ordered the NHL to turn over “reams of data about injuries and concussions” as part of an ongoing lawsuit, TSN’s Rick Westhead reports.

Approximately 80 former players are involved in the legal matter.

Here’s what Nelson wrote in her ruling, via Westhead:

“The Court finds that the (NHL’s) blanket application of the physician-patient privilege – protecting all medical data from disclosure – is inapplicable here,” Nelson wrote.

“The clubs are ordered to produce any internal reports, studies, analyses and databases in their possession (whether initiated by the U.S. clubs, NHL, or retained researchers) for the purpose of studying concussions in de-identified form. The U.S. clubs shall produce any responsive correspondence and/or emails between themselves, themselves and the NHL, or with any research or other professional about the study of concussions.”

Players names will not be shared in this process. The NHL reportedly estimates that producing such reams of data could cost about $13.5 million. Commissioner Gary Bettman was deposed for eight hours on Friday regarding the lawsuit, although his testimony is “under seal for now.”

For more, read the full report from Westhead at TSN.

Montador’s lawyer calls Bettman’s comments on concussions and CTE ‘shocking’

Nashville Predators v Chicago Blackhawks

The lawyer representing the family of the late Steve Montador called commissioner Gary Bettman’s comments on the link between concussions and CTE shocking.

Montador, who appeared in 571 NHL games with the Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks, died on Feb. 15. An autopsy revealed he suffered from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).

“From a medical and scientific standpoint,” Bettman said on Thursday about a possible link between concussions and CTE, “there is no evidence yet that one leads to the other.”

William Gibbs of the Chicago-based law firm, who plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of the Montador family against the NHL, was surprised at the comments.

“I presumed that he must have been misquoted because it made no sense to me,” Gibbs told The Chicago Tribune. “I guess there has been no medical or scientific study saying that if you have 15 shots of whiskey and drive the wrong way down an interstate highway you’re going to hurt someone. Do we need such a study to know it’s dangerous? Mr. Bettman seems to be saying that there is no link between repetitive head trauma sustained during a professional hockey career and later in life issues, which is shocking in this day and age.”

According to researchers at Boston University, CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes (and others) with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head.

Montador was found dead in his Mississauga, Ontario, home at age 35. Over parts of 10 seasons Montador had 65 regular season fights.

“Certainly, we believe very strongly that there is a lot of evidence regarding that correlation and that connection,” Gibbs said. “The only way that one can acquire CTE — I’m no scientist — but I’ve read, is through repetitive head trauma. When we know that someone has been involved in a sport professionally for a decade that encourages fighting, which certainly exposes the brain to trauma, and through the natural course of a game has certainly a propensity to cause trauma to the head, it doesn’t take a genius to add that all together and say professional hockey in Steve Montador’s case caused his CTE.”

The NHLPA declined to comment directly to the Tribune on CTE, but revealed plans to launch an athlete development program next season in partnership with the NHL.