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NHL injury disclosure far from NFL model

Darren Dreger
10/29/2008 10:10:31 PM
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This past June, NHL general managers voted unanimously in favor of limiting how much information is disclosed about player injuries. The amended policy states clubs cannot falsify information, or misrepresent a player's condition; but teams are no longer required to disclose the specific nature of player injuries.

Comparatively, the National Football League provides full injury disclosure and issues a weekly injury report for all of us to conveniently keep track.

NHL GMs say the crackdown is designed to protect the player, as many still believe "targeting" is a constant threat.

The Detroit Red Wings re-introduced the topic at the June general managers meeting while in the Stanley Cup final versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Wings GM Ken Holland says he encouraged the league to reconsider the disclosure policy for two reasons: 1)  Two of his players requested the specifics of their injuries not be disclosed.  2)  The GM saw enough evidence in game one of the Western Conference final versus the Dallas Stars and game two of the Stanley Cup final to conclude opposition players were targeting Johan Franzen's head based on reports the Detroit forwards had "concussion-like" symptoms.

Detroit pushed for the change and 29 other NHL teams agreed.

So, how do you reconcile the differences in NHL and NFL policies? Well, it's not something people want to say on the record but the answer is a simple one from an NHL perspective - the NFL is compelled to adopt a full disclosure policy because of the enormous amount of money wagered each week on the outcome of games.

The NHL faces no such pressure.

Darren Dreger

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