NHL responds to concussion lawsuit, ‘completely satisfied’ with player safety record

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly on Monday night released a statement from the League in response to the concussion lawsuit filed by 10 former players in a D.C. court:

"We are aware of the class action lawsuit filed today in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of a group of former NHL Players. While the subject matter is very serious, we are completely satisfied with the responsible manner in which the League and the Players' Association have managed Player safety over time, including with respect to head injuries and concussions. We intend to defend the case vigorously and have no further comment at this time."

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Daly has said in the past that the NHL was aware a lawsuit could be filed from former players, in the wake of a similar suit from NFL players that was settled out of court for $765 million.

As he told CBS Sports earlier this year, on the NHL’s reaction to that potential litigation:

“I don't think litigation per se can direct your business strategy. I think it's similar to what we were talking about before. You have to do what is right. Obviously, we feel there is an obligation on the part of the league office to make the game as safe as it can be without changing the culture of the game. Part of the attractiveness of our sport as an entertainment product is the contact nature of our sport. You don't want to take contact out. At the same time, if you can minimize injuries and make it safer for the players, you try to do that.”

The suit filed on Monday criticized the NHL for “active and purposeful concealment of the severe risks of brain injuries” and that the “NHL caused or contributed to the injuries and increased risks to Plaintiffs through its acts and omissions,” from everything to “ignoring” the risks of concussions to refusing to amend rules to failing to ban fighting.