Saturday, 27 April 2019

Kelli Ewen Speaks Out

When Todd Ewen passed away on September 19, 2015, there were a lot of people whose eyebrows were raised regarding the 49 year-old's passing. Todd played in the NHL from 1986 until 1997 for four teams including the St. Louis Blues, the Montreal Canadiens, the San Jose Sharks, and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Drafted in 1984 at 168th overall by the Edmonton Oilers, the late NHLer won a Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1993, but the toll his body took from being an enforcer is the bigger story here as Todd Ewen's post-playing days sounded scarier than he was during his career.

This 15-minute video documentary was put together by The Atlantic, and it features Kelli Ewen, Todd's wife, Rick Westhead of TSN, and lawyer Brian Gudmundson, a lawyer for the NHLPA's class-action lawsuit. Some of the details in the following video are a little discomforting, particularly with some of the testimony of neuropathologist Lili-Naz Hazrati. With that warning, here is Blood on the Ice: The Death of Todd Ewen.
If there's a takeaway from this video, it's that everyone at the Canadian Concussion Centre, including Dr. Charles Tator and Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati, seem less interested in the science of CTE and concussions and more interested in taking money from the NHL for as long as they can. The fact that Dr. Hazrati declined numerous interviews leads me to believe that she doesn't want to correct her statements made on her recorded testimony. And that's just wrong in so many ways.

As the only league who has yet to publicly state that there is a direct link between head trauma in its sport and CTE in its athletes, the NHL only makes this worse with each day that passes. And while hundreds of other people, some far more influential than me, have spoken up about this problem and the NHL's unwillingness to listen to leading scientists on the topic, it seems the NHL's ignorance of the mountains of evidence that science has found and proven about the link between head trauma and CTE is the league's go-to escape route for any responsibility or liability.

As a hockey fan, it's embarrassing when you see your heroes struggle doing everyday tasks once their careers are over. It's sickening to think that some of those heroes have died. Get your act together, NHL, so another family isn't destroyed by your willful ignorance of a problem that's becoming increasingly harder to deny on a daily basis.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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