BOCA RATON, Fla. – After the NHL’s general managers meetings, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was asked about recent comments from NFL senior vice president for health and safety Jeff Miller, who noted that there is a link between football and CTE, the degenerative brain disease associated with concussions.
Bettman sidestepped the question to a degree, but tried to point out that hockey and football are different sports.
“I don’t think it’s even necessary or appropriate for me to comment on what the NFL either says or does,” Bettman said. “Secondly I think it’s fairly clear that playing hockey isn’t the same as playing football and as we’ve said all along we’re not going to get into a public debate on this.”
Last May, Bettman said there was “no evidence yet” that concussions and CTE are linked.
CTE, which can only be diagnosed posthumously, has been found in the brains of former NHLers Steve Montador and Derek Boogaard amongst others. It was not found in the brain of recently deceased enforcer Todd Ewen.
The league is facing a lawsuit from several former players saying the NHL did not inform them about the dangers of head injuries.
The NHL has noted that it preferred studies on the impact of head injuries be left to the NFL. The NFL recently settled a large lawsuit with former players for near $1 billion.
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