Traumatic Brain Injury Risk Leads NHL to Consider Immediate Rule Changes

Posted On: March 17, 2010 by Matthew D. Kaplan

Following-up a story I blogged about last week, news reports today indicate that the NHL is seriously considering an immediate change to its rules that would lessen the risk of traumatic brain injuries by banning hits to the head. Though there have been several serious traumatic head injuries and concussions this season, the league’s public view as recently as 48 hours ago was that any move to revise the rules should wait for the offseason. League officials had cited the difficulties of briefing players and officials in mid-season as their reason for putting the issue off until the summer.

According to the Associated Press, however, thinking at the NHL’s Toronto headquarters has changed, and a proposed rule change tentatively approved by general managers last week may be implemented before the current regular season ends next month and before the Stanley Cup playoffs begin. The NHL’s board of governors will have the final say on the matter, but AP reports that a DVD presentation that “will illustrate what would, and wouldn’t, be allowed under the proposed rule change” has been prepared for circulation to all 30 NHL teams, as well as referees and League officials.

The move seems particularly apt since March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month. It comes at a time when awareness of the seriousness of traumatic brain injuries is rising throughout the sports world, in part because of the direct effect such injuries have on players and, in part, as an acknowledgement of the example professionals set for their younger fans in Oregon and throughout the nation.

Oregon traumatic brain injuries can be a shattering and life-altering experience for both victims and their families. Whether an injury occurs while playing sports, as a result of a Portland auto accident or because of an accident in the home, consulting with an Oregon traumatic brain injury attorney is an important step for the injured person, or loved ones, to take in the wake of a Portland brain or spinal cord injury. Depending on the circumstances and nature of the injury the victim may be entitled to substantial compensation to help pay for medical bills or cover lost wages and mitigate pain and suffering.


AP at ESPN.com: Report: Rule on blindside hits in the works