Ex-players suing NHL rip decision to vote Gary Bettman into Hockey Hall of Fame

AP Published 11:13 p.m. ET June 26, 2018

The addition of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to the Hockey Hall of Fame has prompted sharp pushback from some former players angry about the league’s handling of head injuries.

Bettman joined Martin Brodeur, Jayna Hefford, Willie O’Ree, Martin St. Louis and Alexander Yakushev in the Hall of Fame Class of 2018 announced[1] on Tuesday.

Bettman has overseen the NHL’s expansion from 24 to 31 teams and a surge in annual revenue from $437 million to $5 billion in a quarter century overseeing the NHL. His tenure also has included three lockouts of the players and increased controversy over concussions.

A federal lawsuit against the league, consolidated from five cases filed in 2013, has sought class action status for pursuit of damages for mental and physical health problems plaguing former players who experienced head trauma during their careers.

The plaintiffs have alleged the league failed to warn its players of the long-term risk of brain damage that may have been suffered in action on the ice.

More: Boynton, Carcillo sue NHL over head injuries[2]

More: Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur revolutionized position[3]

Two more retirees, Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton, recently filed their own federal lawsuit under similar arguments. They were among the vocal critics on Tuesday of Bettman’s impending induction, using their Twitter accounts to express disgust about the honor for the NHL’s top official since 1993.

“I can’t get over what a slap in the face this must be to the families of Steve Montador, Rick Rypien, Derek Boogaard, Bob Probert & Wade Belak,” Carcillo tweeted , referencing five former players who were suffering from brain damage and died prematurely by causes that included overdose and suicide. “Gary Bettman had a hand in every death by withholding info about the risks of doing their job.”

Boynton questioned the election and called on the Hall of Fame to return all the personal items he had donated to the museum from his career.

“This is not something I want to be a part of,” Boynton tweeted.

[5]In 1995, he won his first Stanley Cup with a sweep3 of 26

[6]Brodeur smokes a cigar while talking to reporters after4 of 26

[7]Brodeur and the Devils missed the playoffs in 1995-96.5 of 26

[8]Brodeur, left, rebounded with a 1.88 goals-against6 of 26

[9]Brodeur made the playoffs in 1997 and scored a goal7 of 26[10]Brodeur stops Dallas' Mike Modano during the 2000 Stanley8 of 26[11]Brodeur returned to the 2001 Stanley Cup Final but9 of 26[12]Brodeur, who went to the 1998 Nagano Olympics but didn't10 of 26[13]Brodeur won his third Stanley Cup in 2003, beating11 of 26[14]Brodeur plays for the Eastern Conference in the 200412 of 26[15]Brodeur gave up five goals in five games as Canada13 of 26[16]Brodeur was so good at playing the puck that the NHL14 of 26[17]Brodeur returned to the Olympics in 2006 in Torino,15 of 26[18]Brodeur had a record 48 wins during the 2006-07 season.16 of 26[19]Brodeur shoves New York Rangers forward Sean Avery,17 of 26[20]Brodeur waves to the fans after picking up win No.18 of 26[21]Brodeur, center, is congratulated by teammates after19 of 26[22]Brodeur started out the Olympics as the No. 1 goalie,20 of 26[23]Brodeur reached the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, but lost21 of 26[24]Brodeur got to announce the Devils' drafting of his22 of 26[25]Brodeur, right, congratules goalie Cory Schneider after23 of 26[26]Brodeur started in last year's outdoor game in Yankee24 of 26[27]Brodeur signed with the St. Louis Blues on Dec. 2,25 of 26[28]Brodeur shut out the Colorado Avalanche on Dec. 29,26 of 26[29]


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  1. ^ Hall of Fame Class of 2018 announced (www.usatoday.com)
  2. ^ Boynton, Carcillo sue NHL over head injuries (www.usatoday.com)
  3. ^ Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur revolutionized position (www.usatoday.com)
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