TIME hockey

Judge Rejects Motion to Dismiss NHL Concussion Lawsuit

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson allowed the case launched by league players to proceed

A federal judge in Minnesota has thrown out the NHL’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit that claims the body inadequately informed players of the health risks caused by concussions despite having ample knowledge and resources.

The plaintiffs are seeking a financial settlement for the “pathological and debilitating effects of brain injuries caused by concussive and sub-concussive impacts sustained … during their professional careers,” according to court documents.

The NHL argued that the case was pre-empted by the league’s collective bargaining agreement, which created a six-year statute of limitations on the case. They also argued additional jurisdiction claims. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson rejected those challenges.

“Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that they may not have been aware that they had suffered an injury — or the possibility of injury — while they were playing in the NHL,” she wrote in her judgement.

In response, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly released a statement reported by the Associated Press. “While we would have hoped for a different result on this motion, we understand that the case is at a relatively early stage, and there will be ample opportunity for us to establish our defenses as the discovery process progresses,” he said

As implied in the statement, the ruling does not mean the players have won the lawsuit, but rather that they can move forward with the litigation.

The players suing the NHL are Dan Lacouture, Michael Peluso, Gary Leeman, Bernie Nicholls, David Christian and Reed Larsen.

Read next: This NHL Player Got Traded After His Daughter Made a Written Plea

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TIME hockey

This NHL Player Got Traded After His Daughter Made a Written Plea

NHL 2014: Jets vs Blue Jackets NOV 25
Aaron Doster—Cal Sports Media/AP In this Nov 25, 2014, former Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jordan Leopold appears during the NHL game in Columbus, OH.

Jordan Leopold's job no longer has to take him so far from his family

Talk about initiative. Hockey player Jordan Leopold’s 11-year-old daughter just got her hometown hockey team, the Minnesota Wild, to trade for her father, who was playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“Well my dad is very lonly [sic] without his family. We are living in Minnesota right now and I am lost without my dad and so is my mom, my 2 sisters, and my brother,” young Jordyn Leopold wrote in a heartfelt letter to the coaches at Minnesota Wild.

Her wish was granted Monday, when 34-year-old Leopold was traded to the Minnesota Wild as a defenseman, allowing him to return home and reunite with his family.

Looks like a career in player management could be shaping up for young Jordyn.

TIME hockey

Former Blackhawks Defenseman Steve Montador Found Dead at His Home

Chicago Blackhawks v San Jose Sharks
Rocky Widner—Getty Images Steve Montador of the Chicago Blackhawks readies for the face-off against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion in San Jose on Nov. 23, 2011

UPDATE: Authorities have determined Montador died of natural causes, according to multiple reports.

Former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Steve Montador was found dead at his home in Mississauga, Ontario on Sunday, according to the Mississauga News.

Regional police, who do not suspect foul play was involved, found Montador, 35, around 2:30 a.m. Sunday after a female acquaintance of Montador’s notified authorities, according to the report. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was not immediately known.

The Vancouver native was signed by the Calgary Flames during the 2001-02 season and played for six different NHL teams.

Montador most recently played in the NHL for the 2011-12 Chicago Blackhawks, during which he suffered a season-ending concussion.

In the 2013-14 season, Montador played in the multi-national Kontinental Hockey League.

Montador logged 33 goals and 98 assists over 571 games in his 10-year NHL career.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME hockey

Angry Hockey Dad Smashes Safety Glass After Penalty Miss

"Way to go, Paul"

Sometimes people get a little too excited about sports, even if that sport is youth hockey. A parent gave a great example of this at recent tournament in York, Penn., when he became upset with a missed penalty call.

The father slaps the glass which somehow deteriorates under his hand sending shards all over the ice.

The York Daily Record spoke with the arena’s president, who said the man wedding ring concentrated the impact causing the safety glass to crumble.

“He broke the (wedding) ring,” Menzer said. “Apparently, his hand wasn’t in great shape either.”

Be sure to listen closely for the parent who drops a perfect “Way to go, Paul” after the refs stop the game while the glass is cleaned up.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME hockey

Toronto Maple Leafs Fire Head Coach Randy Carlyle

Randy Carlyle takes questions after the Toronto Maple Leafs lose to the Nashville Predators 9-2 on Nov. 18, 2014.
Steve Russell—Toronto Star/Getty Images Randy Carlyle takes questions after the Toronto Maple Leafs lose to the Nashville Predators 9-2 on Nov. 18, 2014.

Carlyle had been with the Maple Leafs for three full seasons since taking over late in the 2011-2012 season

The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired head coach Randy Carlyle, the team announced on Tuesday.

The Maple Leafs have lost seven of their last 10 games, dropping to fourth place in the Atlantic Division. They currently have a one-point lead on the Boston Bruins for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

General manager David Nonis said the team couldn’t wait any longer to make a coaching change.

“I want to thank Randy for all of his hard work and dedication,” said Nonis. “It’s never an easy decision to make when changing your leadership but our team was not trending in the right direction and we felt an immediate change was necessary.”

Carlyle, 58, was in his third full season with the Maple Leafs since taking over late in the 2011-2012 season. He compiled a 91-78-19 record in Toronto. The Maple Leafs made the playoffs just once under Carlyle, losing in seven games to the Bruins in the first round of the 2013 playoffs.

Prior to taking over the Maple Leafs, Carlyle was head coach of the Anaheim Ducks from 2006 until 2011. The Ducks won the Stanley Cup in his first season at the helm.

Assistant coaches Peter Horachek and Steve Spott will lead the team during Wednesday’s game against the Washington Capitals.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME nhl

NHL Teams Are Postponing Hospital Visits Amid a Mumps Outbreak

An overall view of the interior of the arena at the NHL season opener at Staples Center on October 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Stephen Dunn—Getty Images An overall view of the interior of the arena at the NHL season opener at Staples Center on October 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

'Tis the season for NHL players to get the mumps

NHL teams are postponing their annual holiday visits to hospitals, amid a mumps outbreak within the league.

Four teams have amended their plans as of Tuesday evening, out of concern that an undiagnosed player could bring the disease into a hospital, USA Today reports. At least 15 NHL players have so far come down with mumps, including players for the Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Though some teams said they would have to cancel their plans, others said they still expected to make their traditional hospital rounds, but after the holidays. The Calgary Flames, which has not had a mumps case, said all its players were vaccinated two weeks ago and they expected to make their visits sometime after the New Year.

[USA Today]

TIME Infectious Disease

NHL Mumps Outbreak Grows With Sidney Crosby Diagnosis

At least 13 NHL players and two referees were infected in the outbreak

Sidney Crosby became the latest National Hockey League player to receive a positive diagnosis for mumps in an unusual outbreak of the disease which is typically prevented by vaccination.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced Crosby’s diagnosis Sunday and on Monday said that the two-time NHL MVP was no longer infectious.

“He probably could have been here today, but we took an extra day to be cautious,” said team manager Jim Rutherford. “As far as I know, he will return tomorrow or the next day.”

The mumps outbreak, which has infected at least 13 NHL players and two referees, is odd given that most U.S. residents receive a vaccine for the disease, which causes headache, fever and swelling of the salivary glands. Crosby reportedly received a vaccination for the disease as recently as this February, according to the Penguins.

Still, doctors say that the effectiveness of the vaccine can wear off over time, and hockey players may be particularly susceptible to the disease given the exchange of saliva during heavy hits.

TIME Holidays

Good News! 5 Things to Be Grateful For This Thanksgiving

AP Triplet panda cubs rest in an incubator at the Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou in south China's Guangdong province, Aug. 12, 2014.

It's been a dismal month, but you can give thanks for these tidbits of good news

This November has been a serious bummer. The midterm elections were a depressing snoozefest. The sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby have made ‘America’s Dad‘ seem more like a creepy uncle. Protests have erupted across the country after a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown. American aid worker Peter Kassig was beheaded by ISIS. We lost Mike Nichols.

With all that bad news, it’s hard to find anything to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. But you better come up with something quick, because sooner or later somebody is going to ask, “so what are you grateful for?” with a schmaltzy smirk. So here are five pieces of good news to celebrate as you make small talk with your aunt’s new weirdo boyfriend.

1) The baby panda triplets in China have stayed alive for 100 days: The “miracle” panda cubs were born in August, and they’ve all survived longer than zookeepers anticipated. Now they’re reportedly healthy enough that visitors can see them. Who to tell: Your niece (but leave out the fact that they’re in China.)

2) The human race has issues, but we landed a probe on a comet this month: On Nov. 13, the European Space Agency’s Philae lander touched down on a comet after a 10-year, 4-billion mile journey. Since comets are made of space’s most primitive materials, scientists hope that the probe will collect valuable information that could help explain the origins of our solar system. Who to tell: Your grandparents who watched the Moon Landing (don’t mention the Virgin Galactic crash.)

3) The Canadians are pretty nice neighbors: After a microphone failure at the Toronto Maple Leaf’s game on Nov. 18 left our national anthem inaudible, Canadian hockey fans filled in to sing the rest of the Star Spangled Banner before the game began. Who to tell: Your neighbor, duh.

4) Taylor Swift ‘s 1989 happened: If you hate Taylor, stop reading now (and maybe do some soul searching.) Anyone with ears should admit they’re thankful for 1989. Who to tell: Play Shake It Off for your grandma, play Blank Space for your cousin who just dumped her boyfriend, play the rest of the album for anyone who will listen.

5) We reached a historic climate change agreement with China: Since the U.S. and China make up 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, it’s a big deal that the two biggest polluters are committing to cleaning up the planet, especially since China has previously been unwilling to cooperate on this issue. The fact that China is willing to work with the U.S. to curb climate change is great news for the planet. Who to tell: This one’s good news for the whole table.

So cheer up and eat up. The bad news can wait till Black Friday.

TIME nhl

Jack Johnson’s Shocking Bankruptcy Story; Maple Leafs Point Fingers

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) during the game between the New Jersey Devils and the Columbus Blue Jackets played at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Nov. 1, 2014.
Rich Graessle—AP Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) during the game between the New Jersey Devils and the Columbus Blue Jackets played at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Nov. 1, 2014.

Johnson, currently playing the fourth season of a seven-year, $30 million deal, has less than $50,000 in assets and more than $10 million in debt

The hockey world has been taught a couple of vitally important lessons this week.

From Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray, who is suffering from terminal cancer, we’ve learned of the life-saving potential of colonoscopies. It’s an uncomfortable thought, especially for men who tend to shrug off medical care for anything short of limb reattachment, but the preventative value of this simple procedure is enormous.

And then we learned that if you make your living in this game, you need to get yourself a good agent. It’s advice that would have saved Jack Johnson from bankruptcy.

The story of the financial ruination of the Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman that was told this morning by Dispatch writer Aaron Portzline is both shocking and heartbreaking. Johnson, currently playing the fourth season of a seven-year, $30 million deal, has less than $50,000 in assets and more than $10 million in debt, the result, Johnson says, of “picking the wrong people who led me down the wrong path.”

Those people, according to Portzline, were Johnson’s own parents.

Earlier in his career Johnson had Pat Brisson, one of the best agents in the game, looking after his affairs. But the two parted ways in 2008 and Johnson signed a power of attorney that turned over full control of his finances to his mother, Tina Johnson.

In hindsight, the decision to put millions of dollars into inexperienced hands was incredibly naive. But these were his parents. The two people in the world he trusted the most. Put into the same situation, there are plenty of us who might have done the same thing.

Fortunately, most of us don’t have parents like Johnson’s. The picture of them that’s painted by Portzline’s research is beyond ugly. Instead of making safe, conventional investments that would protect the financial future of their son, the pair blew through past and future earnings via a complicated series of risky loans at high interest rates, defaults on which resulted in massive fees, higher interest rates and three lawsuits against Johnson.

There are also reports of lavish spending on houses and travel, leaving Johnson not just broke but essentially working for nothing as garnishments swallowed his massive bi-monthly paychecks.

“I’ve seen lots of instances of parents riding their kid’s coattails around,” a league source told Portzline. “I’ve never seen a case as ugly as this one, where the parents took such advantage of their kid.”

Johnson has since surrounded himself with competent attorneys and financial experts who actually have his best interests in mind. Assuming relief will be provided in bankruptcy, he has a chance to climb out of this hole, save his future and maybe put his focus back on playing hockey.

But his relationship with his parents? That’s a tragic casualty of this mess. And one that no court can piece back together.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Sports

Watch Canadian Hockey Fans Help Finish the U.S. National Anthem After the Singer’s Mic Fails

This is sure to warm even the iciest hearts

At a Toronto Maple Leafs game Tuesday night, singer Michelle Madeira was partway through The Star-Spangled Banner when her mic cut out. She continued singing, but of course, the crowd couldn’t hear her. Without missing a beat, the entire crowd picked up where Madeira left off, completing the U.S. national anthem in unison.

Fans kept up the enthusiasm and sang O Canada right after.

See? Hockey fans aren’t just drunken and rowdy and prone to fighting. They’re also sometimes really awesome.

(h/t Daily Dot)

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