NHL

NHL concussion lawsuit adds 29 former players to still-growing list

Former Islanders star Butch Goring was one of 29 former NHL players who joined a lawsuit against the league for its alleged failure to protect players from concussions.


While the NFL’s bouts with lawsuits have been at the forefront of alleged negligence of player safety, the NHL’s issue with concussions continues to gain steam.

Former Islanders star Butch Goring was one of 29 former players who added their name to the original November 2013 lawsuit against the league for its alleged failure to both inform and protect players from the aftereffects of traumatic head injuries. While the group is not represented by the council of the original lawsuit, both have already begun to team up, claiming the NHL is not doing enough to take care of their health.

Goring, who won four Stanley Cups with the Islanders from 1980-81 to 1984-85, is the most high-profile player in the most recent lawsuit. The Hall of Fame center is joined by the likes of well-known former players like Manny Legace, Brian Savage and Todd Warriner.

The official list of players are: Greg Adams; Rick Berry; Richard Brodeur; Shawn Chambers; Todd Elik; Goring; Mark Hardy; Michael Hartman; Todd Harvey; Tony Horacek; Garry Howatt; Dave Hutchinson; Jean Francois Jomphe; Edward Kennedy; Mike Lalor; Darren Langdon; Legace; Jamie Lundmark; Sergio Momesso; Jeff Parker; Stephen Patrick; Craig Redmond; Terry Ruskowski; Savage; Jeffrey Shevalier; Turner Stevenson; German Titov; Warriner; Vernon Westfall.

Former 70-goal scorer Bernie Nicholls was one of the 10 players who were part of the initial lawsuit.

The lawsuits seek damages and court-approved, league-sponsored medical monitoring for the players’ brain trauma and/or injuries sustained over their careers.

“The NHL’s active and purposeful concealment of the severe risks of brain injuries exposed players to unnecessary dangers they could have avoided had the NHL provided them with truthful and accurate information and taken appropriate action to prevent needless harm.”

One of the claims states that while the NHL created a concussion program in 1997, the league did nothing to prevent the number and severity of head injuries from a period of 1997-2004.

By continuing fighting, body checking and the use of enforcers, the suits argue that the league contributes to further injuries along with maintaining a “culture of violence.”

Commissioner Gary Bettman had better batten down the hatches, as the number of players will only rise in the near future. With the host of all-time NFL greats like Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw and Brett Favre stating how they would discourage younger players from playing football, it is also only a matter of time before former NHL stars speak out.