Passions run deep in Canada when it comes to hockey.
So it was not surprising earlier this week when columnist Tony Gallagher of the Province, a British Columbia newspaper, came down hard on those suing the NHL, calling it a “cash grab.”
Gallagher suggested the plaintiffs were plowing the ground with “sympathetic stories of grief and heartbreak from concussions out … .
“It’s always good to soften up the ground that needs to be travelled if this obvious attempt at getting the NHL to settle the way the NFL did is going to be successful.
“On the surface, this action would appear to have very little merit unless there is indeed some smoking gun lying somewhere in the filing cabinets of the NHL indicating they knowingly withheld information on the dangers of repeated headshots which would have allowed the players to make a more informed judgment of the risks.
“This is clearly a fishing expedition, assuming there is such documentation which would be contrary to the way the league is presently viewed publicly on the issue. Under the Gary Bettman regime — publicly, at least — they’ve been front and centre on concussions and right up posing there as the industry leaders in terms of worrying about it despite the fact there are quite a few former players suffering.”