By Ken Reed

Three concussion-based lawsuits against the NHL, on behalf of about 24 former NHL players, have been filed in recent months. More are expected to follow.

These lawsuits are very similar to those filed against the NFL by former football players. They are based on charges of negligence and fraudulent concealment.

However, there are a couple major differences between the NHL and NFL cases: One, the hockey suits claim that the NHL not only tolerated violence in the game but promoted it; and two, the NHL employed enforcers whose main job was to fight during hockey games.

Long-time hockey coaches and administrators have long held that fighting is an inherent part of the game in the NHL. Attorneys for the former hockey players will have a treasure chest of quotes in this regard to draw from.

As we sit here in May 2014, these NHL lawsuits are a long way from being settled. Nevertheless, the developments in these cases in the coming months will be very interesting to watch.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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