U.S. senator ‘very disappointed’ with NHL’s stance on concussions

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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is not making any friends in Washington.

Bettman’s response to a U.S. Senator’s letter about the league’s stance on concussions has irked Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal.

“It was very disappointing to me,”Blumenthal told the Hartford Courant from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday. “To me it demonstrates dramatic indifference (to the issue).”

Blumenthal wrote the NHL in June and asked the league nine questions about concussions and brain injuries such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which was based upon an earlier discussion with Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president of health and safety.

Bettman’s response, a 24-page letter filed to U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson — who is overseeing a class action lawsuit against the NHL — essentially denied there was any link between the two as the research into concussions and brain injuries was still in its early stages and no conclusions could be drawn at this time.

“The relationship between concussions and the asserted clinical symptoms of CTE remain unknown,” Bettman said.

Blumenthal was not pleased with the response.

“Whatever the language and the tone was, it expressed indifference and denial,” Blumenthal said. “The NFL has reacted more responsibly and seriously to the issue … I will be pursuing this issue as we move forward. … I am disappointed and disturbed with the legalese that seemed so dismissive.”

Toronto Sun | Photo: GlobeandMail

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Dusty Fields

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