Category Archives: NHL

NHL Commissioner Bettman Argues There’s No Evidence Supporting Link Between Hockey and Brain Trauma

On July 25, 2016, a letter by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was filed in the multi-district litigation over concussions in hockey dismissing the link between hockey related head injuries and long-term brain conditions. In this letter, he reiterated a similar infamous stance previously made by the NFL that there is no definitive connection between the two and their league has done everything in their power to keep its players safe. Recently, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), a ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection…

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Minnesota Wild Seek Sanctions for Daily Fantasy Company Looking to Skate Sponsorship Agreement

As previously thought, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild are formally seeking sanctions against fantasy sports operator Draft Ops, owned by Emil Interactive Games LLC. On July 6, 2016, the Wild asked a Minnesota federal court to sanction Emil Interactive for attempting to escape the $1.1 million they owe as part of a sponsorship deal with the Wild and their Arena, the Xcel Energy Center. Initially, the Wild sued Emil Interactive for breach of contract after the parties agreed the daily fantasy sports company would be…

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Senator Presses NHL Commissioner for Answers on Concussions

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D – Connecticut) is pressing the National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman to come clean with answers regarding the NHL’s stance on concussions. Specifically, Senator Blumenthal chided Bettman over comments which he believed to be “dismissive” about the link between head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the brain disease which made headlines during the National Football League concussion litigation in recent years. While the NFL has admitted to a link between CTE and playing football, Bettman has made no such…

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Minnesota Wild Claims DFS Company’s Bid for Dismissal in Sponsorship Dispute was Made in Bad Faith

On June 22, 2016 the next step in an extended and contentious legal battle between the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild and Draft Ops fantasy sports was filed in a Minnesota federal court. On Wednesday, the Minnesota Wild filed a Response in Opposition to Draft Op’s Motion to Dismiss, asking a federal judge not to dismiss their complaint. Previously, Emil Interactive Games, which operates Draft Ops fantasy sports, asked the court to dismiss the Minnesota Wild’s breach of contract claims over a sponsorship agreement…

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NHL Becomes the First Major Pro-Sports League to Take a Gamble on Las Vegas

On June 22, 2016 the NHL officially announced that the city of Las Vegas, Nevada will be getting an expansion franchise. Speculation has been rampant that a deal was in place — pending a vote by the NHL’s Board of Governors — for the first major professional sports franchise in Las Vegas. The NHL Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve the Las Vegas franchise, backed by Fidelity Financial Chairman Bill Foley, to begin play in the 2017-18 seasons. In the last few years…

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Benched: Fans Settle Suit Against NJ Devils for Restricting Season Ticket Resale

On Friday, June 10, 2016, U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi issued an order dismissing the New Jersey Devils’ ticket resale case without costs (Olsen et al v. New Jersey Devils, LLC., 2:15-cv-02807). The dismissal comes after parties reported that an agreement had been reached, settling the proposed class action suit. The suit stemmed from plaintiffs’ claim that their 2013-2014 season tickets were canceled after attempting to resell tickets on StubHub. In April 2015, two Devils fans, Ray Olsen and Alex Olsen,…

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Reduction of NHL Player’s Suspension for Allegedly Striking an Official Heads To a New York Federal Court

On June 9, 2016, the National Hockey League filed suit in New York to challenge an arbitrator’s decision to reduce Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman’s suspension for “intent to injure” and “abuse of an official.” In its complaint, the NHL argues the arbitrator overstepped his bounds by substituting his own judgement for that of the NHL’s rather than assessing whether the NHL’s determination was reasonably supported. This complaint stems from a January 27, 2016 game between Wideman’s Calgary Flames and the Nashville Predators. Midway…

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Deal or No Deal? DFS Company Wants Sponsorship with NHL Team Void Because DFS is Not Legal

On June 1, 2016, Emil Interactive Games, LLC, the company behind the daily fantasy sports operation “Draft Ops,” filed a memorandum in support of their Motion to Dismiss a breach of contract suit by the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. In asking a Minnesota federal judge to toss the case they assert the fact that daily fantasy sports has become a contentious issue in many states and has come under fire having been banned outright in five states and consequently the contract should be voided. In its…

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More Discovery Required in NHL Concussion Suit

On May 16, 2016, in the ongoing suit between retired NHL players and the league, a Minnesota Federal Judge ruled more discovery is needed to determine if the former player’s claims are preempted by an NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement and, if so, which one. In January, the NHL filed a motion to stay discovery until their motion to dismiss was ruled on, which the former players opposed. On Monday, a judge sided with the retired players in allowing discovery to continue. The six…

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Judge May Revive Wrongful Death Suit Against NHL

 In December, an Illinois judge granted summary judgment dismissing the wrongful death claim Derek Boogaard’s parents brought against the NHL. After years of fighting for their son, the judge recently indicated that two counts of their amended complaint may be sufficient for the case to proceed. Boogaard was an NHL enforcer for six years; he played for the Minnesota Wild and the New York Rangers. In 2011, Boogaard died of an overdose after years of fighting, sustaining various injuries, and becoming addicted to painkillers. After…

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