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top-shelf-1

Head Shots and DPS

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Thanks, top, and yes, I understand the interconnectedness of the NHL and the clubs that make it up, insofar as revenue-sharing is concerned. It would also be difficult for one team to unilaterally do anything more to protect their players from concussions - it's not as if they can institute team-specific rules on head hits or anything like that.

 

I guess I was just thinking that the impetus for change may well have to come from the bottom up - team medical staff talking to GMs, who talk to owners, who talk to the league medical staff, who talk to the commissioner. Since the NHL is a much smaller presence in the pro sporting arena than is the NFL (and most other sports, even), it's going to be tougher to find someone inside the NHL offices who is going to stand up and say the words without backing from the organizations.

 

Moreover, and I think this is where Bettman is staking his claim, is that, according to the sources I've read, there is NO way at present to diagnose a living person with CTE. Apparently changes to the brain structure are obvious after death, but there are no blood or tissue tests that one can use on a living person that will show that they have CTE. I hate to say it, but I think this is what Bettman's hanging his "not proven" hat on....

 

Still, that's faulty reasoning on Bettman's part, and I do agree with you and super_dave that this is an issue that needs to be confronted, not swept under the rug.

I did a little searching after my last post and it supports your bottom-up approach. I find no position of Chief Medical Officer within the League office; only something called the NHL Team Physicians Society, an apparent professional organization which loosely connects all the official and secondary team physicians for each franchise. It frankly looks like little more than a directory so they can contact each other if necessary.

 

Somehow I'm not surprised. 

Edited by top-shelf-1

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I did a little searching after my last post and it supports your bottom-up approach. I find no position of Chief Medical Officer within the League office; only something called the NHL Team Physicians Society, an apparent professional organization which loosely connects all the official and secondary team physicians for each franchise. It frankly looks like little more than a directory so they can contact each other if necessary.

 

Somehow I'm not surprised. 

 

Me neither.

 

With the basis of the NFL lawsuit being that the league knew that concussions can cause CTE and that withholding that knowledge is the actionable act, I can just hear the NHL's attorney argument in some future CTE lawsuit - "Plaintiffs can't claim that the NHL withheld evidence of a causal relationship between concussions and CTE because, with no league-employed medical staff, there's no mechanism in place to make a decision about or retain knowledge of such causal relationship, should it exist at all. Therefore, because there was no person who would hold that information, the NHL isn't liable for the results of past injuries that may or may not have caused Plaintiffs' current condition...."

 

I apologize to any attorneys I may have insulted (I'm told there are a few ethical attorneys out there, though I try to interact with lawyers as little as possible). I'm feeling really cynical this morning....

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No worries. You can't help it.

 

Well, that's a comfort. :lol:

 

I'm still kinda mind-boggled that the NHL has no in-house medical staff. It's as if, when the NHL started, the founders said "hey, hockey's a lot safer than the other ways to make a living in Canada" (at the time, basically it was farming, lumber and mining, all very dangerous occupations) and didn't feel the need to include doctors as part of the infrastructure.

 

I hate to be judgemental like that, because they didn't have knowledge then that we have today, but somewhere along the way, I would have thought that someone would say "hey! Employing some doctors in the league office would help the teams."

 

Guess that's why I'm not the commissioner of a sports league....

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