Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bettman Says Concussions Are Down in NHL, Declines to Reveal How Much

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bettman Says Concussions Are Down in NHL, Declines to Reveal How Much

Article excerpt

Bettman declines to reveal concussion numbers

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BOCA RATON, Fla. - Gary Bettman says concussions are down in the NHL this season, but the commissioner won't reveal any numbers to support that assessment.

Bettman said Wednesday that concussions have declined this year from last but declined to tell reporters at the league's general managers meetings what the statistics were. The league has shared the numbers at past GMs meetings.

"We have numbers, but we're not ready to give them out," Bettman said Wednesday. "When the season is over if we give them out, we'll give them out, but I think it's fair to say they're down."

Bettman cited a desire to wait until the end of the season to see what the complete numbers are instead of those through just the games already played.

He credited Brendan Shanahan's work in the department of player safety for the improvement, saying that the league is "heading in the right direction." Bettman called it a significant decline.

"It depends on your definition," he said. "My definition is it's a healthy decline, and that's a good pun if you're thinking about what I just said."

In the business aspect of the game, one thing that's not as healthy as it had been is the Canadian dollar, which has fallen to around 90 cents US after being worth as much as 96 within the past year.

Bettman said the system the NHL uses of converting everything to U.S. dollars accounts for fluctuation and does not think the drop is an issue. It will, however affect next year's salary cap, which was estimated at December's board of governors meeting to be just over US$71 million.

Cautioning that it was only an illustration, Bettman downplayed the impact of the loonie's value on the cap.

"With the Canadian dollar where it is maybe you're looking at a million or two difference in the cap based on where the cap is likely to be," he said. …

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