Traumatic Brain Injuries are Target of New NHL Rule

An appropriate piece of news with which to wrap up National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month: with a speed few observers expected the National Hockey League has instituted new rules against hits to the head. The NHL Players Association, the final official body that needed to sign off on the rule change, gave its approval late last week. That accomplished, the changes taking effect immediately. The measure, which I wrote about earlier this month, is specifically designed to reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries, and comes in the wake of several high profile incidents involving serious head injuries to players.

NCAA hockey has long banned hits to the head. Such a rule has been discussed on-and-off in the NHL for years, but had never seemed to gain much momentum (there was, in particular, a strong traditionalist faction in the League which opposed any move to lessen the sport’s roughness). Impetus for the new move appears to have come from a combination of two things. First, the Olympics – where hits to the head have long been banned. The Games may have shifted the conversation because they displayed, for fans and League officials alike, a consistently high level of rough play despite the ban on hits to the head. Second, immediately after the games the NHL was shocked by a rash of high-profile head injuries in the space of a few weeks.

All this month I have worked to highlight the dangers of Oregon traumatic brain injuries and the dire consequences that can follow for victims and their loved ones alike. While the media have recently emphasized the dangers of sports-related traumatic brain injuries, it is worth remembering that auto accidents are, by far, the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries in Oregon and nationwide.

In the wake of such a tragedy it is important to seek the advice of a Portland brain injury lawyer, who can offer advice on how the injury you or a loved one have sustained fits into the evolving legal landscape governing Oregon brain injuries. As I have highlighted throughout the month, this area of the law is evolving rapidly. That fact alone makes a consultation with an Oregon brain and spinal cord injury lawyer a crucial step on your road to recovery.

ESPN: NHLPA approves of head shot rule