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|The addition of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to the Hockey Hall of Fame has prompted sharp pushback from some former players angry about the league’s handling of head injuries.
Bettman joined Martin Brodeur Mark Clayton Jersey , Jayna Hefford, Willie O’Ree, Martin St. Louis and Alexander Yakushev in the Hall of Fame class of 2018 announced on Tuesday. Bettman has overseen the NHL’s expansion from 24 to 31 teams and surge in annual revenue from $437 million to $5 billion in a quarter-century overseeing the NHL. His tenure also has included three lockouts of the players and increased controversy over concussions.
A federal lawsuit against the league , consolidated from five cases filed in 2013, has sought class action status for pursuit of damages for mental and physical health problems plaguing former players who experienced head trauma during their careers. The plaintiffs have alleged the league failed to warn its players of the long-term risk of brain damage that may have been suffered in action on the ice.
Two more retirees, Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton , recently filed their own federal lawsuit under similar arguments. They were among the vocal critics on Tuesday of Bettman’s impending induction, using their Twitter accounts to express disgust about the honor for the NHL’s top official since 1993.
”I can’t get over what a slap in the face this must be to the families of Steve Montador, Rick Rypien Tyreek Hill Jersey , Derek Boogaard, Bob Probert & Wade Belak,” Carcillo tweeted , referencing five former players who were suffering from brain damage and died prematurely by causes that included overdose and suicide. ”Gary Bettman had a hand in every death by withholding info about the risks of doing their job.”
Boynton questioned the election and called on the Hall of Fame to return all the personal items he donated to the museum from his career.
”This is not something I want to be a part of,” Boynton tweeted .
The first workout in pads during training camp usually belongs to the defense, but Los Angeles Chargers center Mike Pouncey was ready to bring his own level of physicality.
Pouncey traded blows with Chargers defensive linemen Brandon Mebane and Corey Liuget on Monday, showing a ferocity he rediscovered because of how his time in Miami ended after seven seasons.
"It just lit that fire again in me," Pouncey said. "I never thought I would play with anybody but the Dolphins, but once they released me Aaron Jones Jersey , it made me want to be an even better football player. It made me want to prove everybody wrong, and I'm excited to be here. I can't wait to help this run game out, help this football team do something special."
Pouncey signed a two-year contract with the Chargers in March, inspired by the chance to play with one of the game's top quarterbacks in Philip Rivers.
His time in Miami saw Pouncey working with a host of journeymen before helping first-round draft pick Ryan Tannehill transition to the NFL. Rivers is at the other end of the spectrum in terms of talent, experience and understanding of the game. It didn't take long for Pouncey to recognize Rivers' comprehensive mastery of the position.
"I just like that he knows everything that is going on each and every play. When we go up, he's the guy that points out the Mike (linebacker). He knows when blitzes are coming, so he puts us in the right protections and he gets us in and out of plays. When a bad look is there and we don't want to run that play, he switches the play," Pouncey said.
"To be able to play with him Fred Warner Jersey , I don't take it for granted. I feel like it's something that I lucked up into, and I'm going to take full advantage of it."
The chance to play on a team with viable Super Bowl aspirations was just as important for Pouncey, who reached the playoffs once during his time with the Dolphins, as the Chargers are the only team in the AFC West that returns its head coach, both coordinators and starting quarterback. The professionalism displayed by his new teammates during their brief time together has convinced Pouncey the Chargers can deliver on their growing expectations.
"Every year in the league I've always wanted to win," Pouncey said. "That's the goal every year you go into training camp is to try and win something, win the Super Bowl. For me right now, at the point in my career, I'm excited to be on a football team that has a chance. They finished top of the league in offense last year Danny Amendola Jersey , and our defense is unbelievable, so I feel with me coming here it can only help."
Pouncey wants to make his presence felt in the run game, where the Chargers tied for 25th after averaging 3.8 yards per carry last season. He looked up to the part in practice, creating holes for Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler. But Pouncey also felt the familiar push back from the likes of Mebane and Liuget on the interior.
Chargers defenders had been looking forward to the chance to hit again, and coach Anthony Lynn said their energy was evident.
"That's kind of why you had to hold them back a little bit. You don't want the excitement to go too far," Lynn said.
The back and forth during the morning session was fine by Pouncey.
"First days of pads is always the funnest day," Pouncey said. "I feel we had a really good day as a football team on both sides of the football, and we can only get better from here."
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