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Bettman claims concussions are down, but won’t provide numbers

Mar 12, 2014, 5:23 PM EDT

Gary Bettman Getty Images

From the Canadian Press:

Gary Bettman says concussions are down in the NHL this season, but the commissioner won’t reveal any numbers to support that assessment.

Bettman said Wednesday that concussions have declined this year from last but declined to tell reporters at the league’s general managers meetings what the statistics were. The league has shared the numbers at past GMs meetings.

“We have numbers, but we’re not ready to give them out,” Bettman said Wednesday. “When the season is over if we give them out, we’ll give them out, but I think it’s fair to say they’re down.”

Concussions are a sensitive issue for the NHL, especially after a group of former players sued the league in November over head injuries.

Bettman subsequently called it “a lawsuit without merit,” with the NHL vowing to “defend the case vigorously.”

Related: Do the players suing the NHL over concussions have a case?

  1. patthehockeyfan - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    Crap-faced POS.

    Ok. That wasn’t like me to make that comment; but, any time I see that face, my blood begins to boil.

    It’s curious that he won’t give out numbers now and isn’t promising to provide numbers at season’s end. My guess? Concussions are down all right. Down exactly ONE.

  2. imleftcoast - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    I don’t think it is ‘fair to say they’re down.’ This is ‘trust me, they’re down,’ and you’re being asked to trust Gary Bettman. His reputation does not warrant much trust. I loved this article about what a POS Bettman is.

    • patthehockeyfan - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:42 PM

      Thanks for the link. Half in accordance with the article, I will, from this day forward, refer to him as Gary Buttman. (I think Stursberg might have confused Buttman’s ever-present smile with what looks to me like a facelift.)

    • imgoingtowichita - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:52 PM

      Yes, thanks for the link. I personally don’t like him but can certainly respect him (as a cutthroat businessman/negotiator)… besides, he really only needs to have 30 people agree with his actions, unfortunately.

  3. kane987245 - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    Hey guys, I won the lottery! Now, i’m not going to show you the ticket right now and before the next drawing starts i might show it, if i want to show it.. But it’s safe to assume i won the lottery.

  4. canucks30 - Mar 12, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    Bettman says a lot of things.

    Most of them aren’t true.

  5. mcflower29 - Mar 12, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    raffi torres’s absence alone reduced concussions by 88%

  6. hockeyflow33 - Mar 12, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    It’s not an easily measurable metric. As concussions testing improves, so will the diagnosis. You may have more or less concussions than previous years but there really is no way to tell because of how poorly they were diagnosed in the past.

  7. JoeAvg - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    I’m ready to give him something. I walk on it and I’m gonna put it where he sits.

    And saying something like that is not like me at all. Thi$ guy just leave$ me cold.

  8. c9castine - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Listen i don’t necessarily like Bettman but allow me to make two points.

    A. I’m not a lawyer nor do I know the current happenings of the situation but I am willing to bet that the skirting of actually announcing the numbers has a lot to do with the lawsuit the NHL is involved with. It doesn’t always make sense why people don’t talk about certain things in lawsuits but like I said, probably has a lot to do with it.

    B. if somebody tried to tell me the league is worse now than when Bettman took over they would be stupid. Attendance is way way up, TV ratings are way way up, revenue up, hockey basically made NBC Sports which evolved from the Outdoor Life Network to Versus to now NBCSN. The league was cleaned up after the 2005 lockout and it resulted in a faster more skilled game where there are less bums and goons and more talent.

    Sure he has had his failures and can be stubborn with certain Franchises (ahem, Phoenix) but he also knew when to call it quits in Atlanta. Too many labor disputes for sure.

    But let’s be honest, all in all the little phocker has done a pretty decent job.

    • patthehockeyfan - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:08 AM

      Good points, c9. I thought about the lawsuit, and wondered if that’s why Buttman won’t comment on concussion numbers.

      As to your second point, I agree with what you wrote; however, there are some of us who simply don’t like what Buttman has done to the sport. In our eyes, he’s turned it into a carnival game complete with volleyball, Vin Scully, outdoor games played in awful conditions, etc..

      Yes, he’s done this in order to increase attendance and viewership, and he’s succeeded. The game, though, doesn’t resemble the sport of ice hockey that some of us grew up with and still appreciate.

      Buttman: good for the game; bad for the sport.

      • c9castine - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        I dont know buddy…I grew up watching hockey in the very late 80s and through the 90s and I like what I see now a whole lot better, especially when I go back and watch old games from that time period (lol at the hooks slashes and trips.)

        I mean, besides the shootout, which I also hate despite general popularity, what exactly do you not like about the sport?? I see all the elements of hockey still there…physicality, fighting, skill plays ie shooting stickhandling passing (all made easier by proper rule enforcement), rivalries…

        Im not trying to tell you what opinion you have I just cant see what your missing.

  9. zinger99 - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:06 AM

    This league is totally watered down. This league peaked in the 80’s. I could go on and on,but I don’t have all night.

  10. blomfeld - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    HAIL TO THE CHIEF !!! :)

  11. zinger99 - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    The league is like a watered down version of what it used to be. Everything is on a much lower plane. Mostly because of the over-expansion. Boston doesn’t have a 30 goal scorer and its March! There used to be 30 goal scorers on your checking line. Look at the goals against averages. Pretty low. Not impressive considering the league is very low scoring. Low scoring because there are way too many players who should be in the AHL. But again,over-expansion. Gotta fill out those rosters. It affects the way coaches coach. Not to lose instead of full speed ahead. Are you going to throw away an evening watching Carolina vs Phoenix? Two of nine cities that shouldn’t have a team. If you have a league,do you really need a franchise in Columbus? Of course,the shootout is a joke as is the loser point. The season should not extend into June.. Where are the Lafleurs,Dionnes and Bossys? Dryden,Parent and Billy Smith! The game has lost a lot of personality. It’s now a watered down Jack Daniels.

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