November 13, 2018 / 1:21 AM / 8 months ago

NHL notebook: Tentative settlement reached in concussions lawsuit

The NHL and attorneys for retired players on Monday announced a tentative settlement in the concussions lawsuit filed against the league.

November 10, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jack Campbell (36) blocks shot against the Calgary Flames during the third period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The lawsuit, handled in federal court in Minnesota, involves more than 100 former players who claim the NHL failed to better prevent head injuries or warn players of the risks while also promoting violent and dangerous play.

The total value of the settlement announced Monday is $16.9 million, according to the agreement released by the NHL. Of that total, nearly $7 million will be distributed to 318 settling plaintiffs, approximately $22,000 per player.

In a statement, the league said it is not acknowledging liability for any of the players’ claims: “The NHL does not acknowledge any liability for any of Plaintiffs’ claims in these cases. However, the parties agree that the settlement is a fair and reasonable resolution and that it is in the parties’ respective best interests to receive the benefits of the settlement and to avoid the burden, risk and expense of further litigation.”

—Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jack Campbell needs knee surgery and will miss approximately four to six weeks, the team announced.

Campbell will have surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He was injured during Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames.

Campbell has been the Kings’ main starter while star goalie Jonathan Quick recovers from his own meniscus surgery. Quick was injured in late October and is out indefinitely.

—After undergoing multiple major surgeries for hip dysplasia, 21-year-old St. Louis Blues goaltender Luke Opilka announced his retirement from professional hockey.

“I want to thank the St. Louis Blues, my hometown team, for drafting me and giving me an opportunity to pursue my dream,” Opilka said in a statement. “Unfortunately, my career ended sooner than I hoped, but I’m excited to continue my education and begin a new chapter in my life.”

The St. Louis native was drafted by the Blues in the fifth round (146th overall) in 2015. Before he was drafted, Opilka spent two seasons with the U.S. National Development Team in the United States Hockey League. He then joined the Kitchener Rangers in the Ontario Hockey League, where he posted a 40-24-6 record.

—Field Level Media

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