Former NHL Player, Now Relegated to Semi-Pro Hockey, Joins Concussion Lawsuit

Sasha Pokulok, a first-round pick of the Washington Capitals in the 2005 NHL draft, has joined the concussion lawsuit against the NHL. Pokulok claimed in the lawsuit that he suffered from concussions during the early part of a professional career, in which he never played for the Capitals. Though he signed a three-year entry level contract with Washington, Pokulok never made it to the NHL. Instead, Pokulok bounced around to several minor league teams

In recent years, Pokulok, 28, has played for the semi-pro Cornwall River Kings of the Ligue nord-américane de hockey.

Pokulok said in a statement that “it’s important to get the message across that although I and players who are similarly situated signed up knowing we would play hard and perhaps get a concussion, we didn’t sign up knowing that the concussions would lead to brain damage.”

Zelle Hofmann Partner Michael Cashman, who is representing Pokulok,added that players “become exposed to brain injuries as soon as they step on the ice after signing an NHL contract. Rigorous NHL training camps and NHL rookie games and tournaments expose NHL players to repeated head injuries before they ever play in an NHL game. Consequently, it is important to protect all players and not just players who had long NHL careers.”

 

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