Who are the NHL concussion lawsuit plaintiffs?

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On Monday, 10 former NHL players joined in filing a lawsuit against the League, alleging that the “NHL has failed to effectively respond to the head injuries sustained by players” and that “the NHL has behaved negligently and fraudulently in regards to the player sustained head trauma over the past decades.”

Who are they? By and large, they're players that dropped the gloves during their careers. But overall, they represent a large cross section of players from different eras and levels of prestige.

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Here’s a look at the 10 players who have decided to take on the NHL’s concussion policies. One expects this list will swell in the near future.

Brad Aitken, LW

Aitken played three seasons in the NHL, totaling 14 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Edmonton Oilers from 1997 through 1991. He’d go on to play with St. John’s of the AHL and the Raleigh Ice Caps in the ECHL before his career ended in 1993 at age 25.

According to the lawsuit: “Mr. Aitken sustained repeated head trauma and suffered multiple concussions and sub-concussive impacts as a result of his playing professional hockey in the NHL. Since his retirement, he has suffered from injuries associated with such concussions and sub-concussive impacts, including but not limited to depression, personality change, memory loss, lack of concentration, severe head aches, and post-traumatic head syndrome.”

Aitken fought with regularity in the minor leagues, and had one fight in the NHL against Nick Kypreos.

Darren Banks, LW

Banks played 20 games in the NHL from 1992-94, before playing eight more seasons in the AHL, IHL and UHL among other leagues before retiring at age 34.

According to the lawsuit: “Since his retirement, he has suffered from injuries associated with such concussions and sub-concussive impacts, including but not limited to post-traumatic head syndrome and post-traumatic headaches.”

Curt Bennett, LW

Bennett played 10 seasons and 580 games with the St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers and Atlanta Flames before retiring at age 33 with Furukawa Denko in Japan.

According to the lawsuit: “Mr . Bennett suffered multiple concussions and sub-concussive impacts as a result of playing professional hockey in the NHL. Since his retirement, he has suffered from injuries associated with such concussions and sub-concussive impacts, including but not limited to cephalgia, visual problems, tinnitus, lightheadedness, memory loss, bilateral hearing loss, post-traumatic head syndrome, and cognitive deficit.”

Here’s a look at some of Bennett’s fights:

Richie Dunn, D

Dunn played 11 NHL seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames and Hartford Whalers. He retired in 1990 at age 32.

From the lawsuit: “Mr. Dunn suffered multiple sub-concussive impacts as a result of his playing professional hockey in the NHL. Since his retirement, he has suffered from injuries associated with such sub-concussive impacts, including but not limited to blurred vision, memory loss, post- traumatic headaches, and cognitive deficit.”

Hockey Fights lists 13 fights for Dunn, including this one against Rick Middleton:

Warren Holmes, C

Holmes played three seasons in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings for a total of 26 games from 1981-84. He would play in the AHL, IHL and CHL through 1986, when he retired with the Saginaw Generals at age 28. (In a 2009 interview, Holmes said his retirement was due to low wages and that “today, money is a great motivator for longevity.”)

From the lawsuit: “He suffered multiple concussions and sub-concussive impacts as a result of playing professional hockey in the NHL. Since his retirement, he has suffered from injuries associated with such concussions and sub-concussive impacts, including but not limited to post-traumatic head syndrome, sleep disorder, and memory loss.”

Gary Leeman, RW

The second most-notable name in the lawsuit, Leeman played 667 NHL games from 1983-1997 with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues.

From the lawsuit: “Mr. Leeman suffered multiple concussions and sub-concussive impacts as a result of playing professional hockey in the NHL. Since his retirement, he has suffered from injuries associated with such concussions and sub-concussive impacts, including but not limited to post-traumatic head syndrome, headaches, memory loss, and dizziness.”

Leeman was an occasional fighter in the NHL, but was known as a skill player. He was a representative for Stopconcussions.com. As he told The Hockey News in 2012, “The sport’s getting a little bit dangerous and we have to find a way to stop all of the concussions.”

Bob Manno, D

Manno played eight seasons from 1976-85 with the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. He’d go on to play until 1994 in Italian leagues, before retiring at age 37.

From the lawsuit: “Mr. Manno suffered multiple concussions and sub-concussive impacts as a result of playing professional hockey in the NHL. Since his retirement, he has suffered from injuries associated with such concussions and sub-concussive impacts, including but not limited to post-traumatic head syndrome, memory loss, and a lack of concentration.”

Blair Stewart, C

Stewart played seven seasons in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals and Quebec Nordiques from 1973-80. He’d play in the CHL until 1981, before retiring at age 27.

From the lawsuit: “Mr. Stewart suffered multiple concussions and sub-concussive impacts as a result of playing professional hockey in the NHL. Since his retirement, he has suffered from injuries associated with such concussions and sub-concussive impacts, including but not limited to post-traumatic head syndrome, post-traumatic headaches, and sleep disorder.”

Morris Titanic, D

The impossibly named Mr. Titanic – and yes, a Wiki editor already used the “knee injury sunk Titanic’s career” line – played 19 games for the Buffalo Sabres before continuing his career in the AHL and IHL. He later became a coach with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres.

From the lawsuit: “Mr. Titantic suffered multiple concussions and sub-concussive impacts as a result of his playing professional hockey in the NHL. Since his retirement, he has suffered from injuries associated with such concussions and sub-concussive impacts, including but not limited to memory loss, tinnitus, post-traumatic headaches, post-traumatic head syndrome, and cognitive deficit.”

Rick Vaive, RW

The most significant name in the lawsuit, Vaive played 876 games in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks and Buffalo Sabres. He finished his NHL career at 32 but would play in another season in the AHL. He was a scorer and a brawler.

From the lawsuit: “Mr. Vaive sustained suffered multiple concussions and sub-concussive impacts as a result of playing professional hockey in the NHL. Since his retirement, Mr. Vaive has suffered from injuries associated with such concussions and sub-concussive impacts, including but not limited to cephalgia, tinnitus, lightheadedness, depression, and memory loss.

In 2012, Vaive was cleared of a drunk driving charge and entered rehab for alcoholism. He became an outspoken critic of the NHL's stance on fighting, and argued for changes to better ensure the safety of players.

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