NHL commissioner Gary Bettman

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Nick Boynton: Hockey Needs A 'Culture Change' In Dealing With Head Trauma

The league still doesn't acknowledge its ties to head injuries.

June 13, 2018 - 3:38 pm

(670 The Score) Former Blackhawks defenseman Nick Boynton has joined a growing group of ex-NHL players calling for the league and players' union to admit the sport's ties to head trauma and then take proactive steps toward preventing those injuries and caring for those who have suffered from them.

"It's an overall culture change that we need in the game of hockey," Boynton said in an interview on the Bernstein & McKnight Show on Wednesday.

An 11-year NHL veteran, Boynton admitted he went to drug and/or alcohol rehab three times but didn't find many answers there for what truly ailed him, notably his brain injuries.

"It just didn't even touch on some of the issues I was having with my head," Boynton said. 

"They have to start treating these brain injuries when they happen, to be treated better. The spotter thing is a joke in the NHL. 

"The NHL and the players' union don't even acknowledge that there's really a problem with head trauma in the game or that that could factor in to post-playing days. I think the first thing is to get the league to acknowledge and get on board and just start helping.

"I need help, and I know a lot of guys need help. And we're not getting where we should be getting it -- and that's our former employers, and our union isn't standing up for us."

Listen to Boynton's interview at greater length below.