HBO is coming out with a relevant and up-to-the-minute special on concussions in the National Hockey League, and you better believe it will be watched by many former and active players. The next edition of HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" takes a look at what it calls the NHL's inaction on concussions in hockey. It airs on Tuesday.
With the show coming to release, a former NHL enforcer decided to use that momentum to reveal some secrets behind the scenes of the league, and reached out to teams and active players across the NHL in hopes to increase concussion awareness. Dan Carcillo used his Twitter account to share important details and inserted a a clip of Bryant Gumbel’s “Real Sports” show on HBO, which is titled “The NHL’s denial of CTE.”
The program is expected to reveal clips of Gary Bettman where the commissioner claims there is no connection between playing hockey and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative disease of the brain.
On his social media accounts, using the hashtag #TIMETODOBETTER, Carcillo revealed that the NHL is “very much a fear-based league. Walk on eggshells, don’t dare ask questions and god forbid you don’t agree with how you’re being treated.”
“It’s an ultimatum,” Carcillo continued. “Either put up or shut up bc there’s a young n dumb n hungrier youngen ready to step in and shut up n play.”
The former NHL enforcer went on by pushing and encouraging players to stand up for themselves and “get educated” and to “know the risks of playing #hockey in a league that refuses to adequately care for humans.”
And then he asked a very relevant question, one that could change many things in the way Bettman talks about concussion. He wonders whether more would be done if players such as Pittsburgh Penguins star player Sidney Crosby and Hawks captain Jonathan Toews spoke out on the issue. After all, both player have suffered multiple concussions in their careers. He goes on to invite Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as well.
On Tuesday, fans will find out even more with Gumbel’s show as it will feature interviews with the father of former Blackhawks defenseman Steve Montador, who passed away in 2015. He was a close friend and former teammate of Carcillo, and it has been reported that Montador suffered multiple concussions during his career as extensive CTE was found on his brain after his death. The show will also feature interviews with Eric Lindros and Ken Dryden.
Earlier this season, Dryden urged the NHL to implement new rules that he believes will cut down on the number of concussions sustained by players during games. The Hockey Hall of Famer published a book, Game Change: The Life and Death of Steve Montador and the Future of Hockey, which explores chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) through the tragic fate of Montador.
Now retired from the NHL since the 2014-15 season, Carcillo has also suffered multiple concussions during his nine-year career.
This will be a great documentary to watch!