Daniel Carcillo Continues Fight With NHL Over Its Denial Of Brain Injuries: 'They're Killing People'

Carcillo has called for better treatment for current and retired players.

McNeil & Parkins Show
May 15, 2018 - 6:02 pm
Daniel Carcillo in 2014

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images


(670 The Score) Daniel Carcillo is taking the NHL to task over its handling of concussions and traumatic brain injuries.

A nine-year NHL veteran who last played in 2015, Carcillo is fighting back at the league for its lack of transparency with brain injuries, a cause which became close to him after friend and teammate Steve Montador died in 2015 and was later diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, better known as CTE.

Carcillo hopes the NHL -- which he refers to as the "League of Denial" -- will ultimately issue an apology for its denials of brain injuries linked to the sport while also making a commitment for better on-site care and treatment for current and retired players. He currently sees the league avoiding the issue, including with its media partners.

Carcillo joined the McNeil & Parkins Show on Tuesday afternoon and discussed his cause and the fight with the league.

"If the first three letters are NHL, you're going to get the same archaic message, which is 'We do not believe that you need treatment for a traumatic brain injury; we do not believe in seeing a link between traumatic brain injuries and CTE' when all the other professional sports leagues have come out and said that," Carcillo said in his interview with Parkins.

"That's why I moved forward with that narrative, that this is the only league, the only professional sports league, that continues to deny it, and because they deny it, they're killing people. They're killing people.

"I will not stand by and let Steve Montador's son, who's four months younger than my son, I won't stand by and have them grow up in a world where they don't have the information. This is my fight, because we didn't have the information, but apparently the NHL did.

"This is a purpose. I don't get any kickbacks from a brain center. I just get to lay my head on the pillow knowing guys are getting help and (so) they don't have to make nine keys for the same deadbolt like Steve Montador had to do when I went to his house in Mississauga. They get to enjoy their son, because his son was born four days after he passed away. It's not fair, and it pisses me off. That's why I get up every day."

Carcillo's career in hockey included two Stanley Cup championships with the Blackhawks, in 2013 and 2015. He believes the Blackhawks organization genuinely cares about its players but hopes to see them hire a functional neurologist without consent of the league.

The fight for Carcillo isn't with the Blackhawks or any individual team but the NHL as a whole. He wants to see the league and the NHL Players' Association -- which he calls the "Union of Compliance" --  protecting the players in cases of brain injuries.

"That's why you pay a union, is to protect you against the entity that's the NHL," Carcillo said. "I've had experience with them. They're just no different from the NHL. They're a bunch of politicians, and you can't trust them. You just can't. That's why guys call me now. Because I have no stake in any game. I don't. 

"I just want to see people get better, and that's it. And I don't want them to go through the same hell I've been through and I've been going through for the last two-and-a-half years and longer than that. But now I know."

Carcillo recently pledged his brain to the Carrick Institute in Cape Canaveral, Florida and said any money from an NHL settlement would go there, too. However, he doesn't envision a settlement any time soon because of the league's financial situation.

Among the frustrations for Carcillo against the NHL is how the league's media partners have handled the issues before the public. He sees evidence of an active effort to avoid discussing brain injuries and gruesome hits, even when they're brought to the forefront.

"There's emails," Carcillo said. "There's tons of emails, man. They're all public right now. There's no misinformation here."

If players can't get the financial compensation back from the NHL, Carcillo wants them to benefit from awareness and potentially have their lives saved.

"If you don't know where you came from, how do you know where you're going?" Carcillo said. "Even as a league. Take my name off the Cup, twice over. I don't care. I'm not proud of it."