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n Afflalo was fouled
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WASHINGTON -- Ten former National Hockey League players, including all-star forward Gary Leeman, claimed in a class-action lawsuit that the league hasnt done enough to protect players from concussions. The lawsuit seeks damages and court-approved, NHL-sponsored medical monitoring for the players brain trauma and/or injuries, which they blame on their NHL careers. It was filed in federal court in Washington on behalf of players who retired on or before February 14 of this year and have suffered such injuries. The suit comes just three months after the National Football League agreed to pay US$765 million to settle lawsuits from thousands of former players who developed dementia or other concussion-related health problems -- and in an era when more attention is being paid to the damages of head injuries sustained in sports. Among other things, the suit claims that: -- The NHL knew or should have known about scientific evidence that players who sustain repeated head injuries are at greater risk for illnesses and disabilities both during their hockey careers and later in life. -- Even after the NHL created a concussion program to study brain injuries affecting NHL players in 1997, the league took no action to reduce the number and severity of concussions during a study period from 1997 to 2004. "Plaintiffs relied on the NHLs silence to their detriment," the suit says. -- The league didnt do anything to protect players from unnecessary harm until 2010, when it made it a penalty to target a players head. "The NHLs active and purposeful concealment of the severe risks of brain injuries exposed players to unnecessary dangers they could have avoided had the NHL provided them with truthful and accurate information and taken appropriate action to prevent needless harm," the lawsuit says. Bill Daly, the leagues deputy commissioner, issued a statement Monday. "We are aware of the class-action lawsuit filed today in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of a group of former NHL players. While the subject matter is very serious, we are completely satisfied with the responsible manner in which the league and the players association have managed player safety over time, including with respect to head injuries and concussions," the statement said. "We intend to defend the case vigorously and have no further comment at this time." The NHL didnt respond to APs requests for comment, but earlier this year, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told The Canadian Press the league had "taken tremendous strides and put a great deal of effort and time and money into dealing with the issue of player safety, in general, and concussions, specifically. "We were the first sports league in 97 to have a joint working group to study concussions with the Players Association and our trainers and our physicians. We were the first sports league to do baseline testing, we were the first sports league to have protocols for diagnosis and return-to-play decisions. "This is something that we have always treated as important and will continue to treat as important," he added. The suit argues that the league continues to contribute to injuries today, by refusing to ban fighting and body-checking, and by employing "enforcers" whose main job is to fight or violently body-check opponents. And the lawsuit accuses the league of promoting a "culture of violence," in which players are praised for their fighting and "head-hunting" skills. Leeman, who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadians, Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues from 1983-1996, suffered multiple concussions and sub-concussive impacts during his career, according to the lawsuit. Since his retirement, hes suffered from post-traumatic head syndrome, headaches, memory loss and dizziness, the lawsuit says. In addition to Leeman, the other ex-players on the lawsuit are: Bradley Aitken (Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers); Darren Banks (Boston Bruins); Curt Bennett (Blues, New York Rangers and Atlanta Flames); Richard Dunn (Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames); Warren Holmes, (Los Angeles Kings); Robert Manno, (Canucks, Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings); Blair James Stewart (Red Wings, Washington Capitals and Quebec Nordiques); Morris Titanic, (Sabres); and Rick Vaive (Canucks, Maple Leafs, Sabres, and Chicago Blackhawks). In a statement, Vaive said players "were kept in the dark about the risks of concussions and many of the former NHL players are now suffering from debilitating head injuries from their time in the league. Hopefully this lawsuit will shine a light on the problem and the players will get the help they deserve." Marcedes Lewis Super Bowl Jersey . His brother — Red Lake chiropractor Richard Radford — is en route to Sochi to cheer on his younger brother. "Ive been getting texts from Eric and he just says the atmosphere is amazing, its special,” he said. Oren Burks Super Bowl Jersey . Tony Parker had 33 points and nine assists and San Antonio never trailed in a resounding 116-92 victory over Portland, bullying the younger Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. http://www.packersonlineteamstore.com/ja...ersey.html . - Ryan Spooner scored twice to lead the Boston Bruins to a 6-1 victory over the New York Islanders in a preseason game Friday night. Davante Adams Super Bowl Jersey . -- Canadian womens amateur golf champion Brooke Henderson is a little less starstruck as she prepares for her second career appearance at an LPGA Tour major event. Kevin King Super Bowl Jersey . Jeff Carter had two goals and an assist as the Kings stretched their streak to seven wins in a row with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Orlando Magic have seen much more misery than celebration this season. But with one of the NBAs best teams and its top scorer in town, the Magic made the most of a rare opportunity to enjoy the latter. Tobias Harris slammed home a fast-break pass from Maurice Harkless at the buzzer to give the Orlando Magic a 103-102 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night. With the Thunder leading 102-101 in the closing seconds, Kevin Durant missed a jumper to set up the last-second play, which was reviewed by officials and upheld. Rookie Victor Oladipo, who had grabbed the rebound on Durants miss with 2.9 seconds left and passed ahead to Harkless to start the break, pounded his chest after the play and screamed "This is our floor!" as the crowd roared. "I saw Victor get the (rebound) and I just wanted to be down there, whether or not he shot a layup or if he made it, congratulate him, to get a tip-in -- anything," Harris said. "But he kicked it to Mo and I just kept running. Mo saw me and my whole momentum was just to get it in the rim." Harris led the Magic with 18 points, followed by Arron Afflalo with 16. Orlandos bench outscored the Oklahoma Citys 36-23. The win gives the Magic their first four-game home winning streak in two years. It also snaps the Thunders five-game winning streak in the series. "I was drawing up our defensive strategy unless they had point-something left on the clock," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "But well take it." Durant led the Thunder with 29 points and 12 assists. Serge Ibaka added 26 points. The loss was just the second in 14 games for Oklahoma City. Durants points and assists accounted for half of his teams points in the first half. But he scored just 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting in the second half. He was 1 for 7 in the fourth. "We couldnt do anything (in the second half). We were just a step slow," Durant said. "We kept running the same plays. We didnt help on the back side. We let guys cut to basket. ... There were just mental breakdowns." The Magic made eight of their first 11 shots to starrt the third quarter and trailed by eight entering the fourth.dddddddddddd Vaughn said before the game that the matchup would turn on whether the Magics second unit could outplay the Thunders bench. His prediction came true. Without their starters on the floor, the Magic kept their third-quarter momentum going by scoring the first eight points of the final period to cut the Thunders lead and tie it at 88-all with just over 9 minutes to play. Durant was re-inserted into the game and promptly put his team back in front with a jumper from the wing. The Magic kept coming, though, and took their first lead, 91-90, on a pair of free throws by Harris at the 7:59 mark. The game stayed tight and was tied at 99 when Durant came down on the break and found Thabo Sefolosha in the corner for a 3-pointer with 1:56 left. Glen Davis drew an offensive foul and on the ensuing possession Afflalo was fouled on a 3-point attempt with less than a minute to play. He hit two of his three attempts to trim the gap to 102-101 and set up the final sequence. The Thunder hovered above 70 per cent shooting early on and led by as many as 17 points in the first half. The Magic hung around, shooting 52 per cent themselves for the half. But they couldnt match Oklahoma Citys 8-for-12 shooting from 3. The Thunder also had 17 assists. But the Magic held them to just 37 points in the second half. "We came in at halftime and watched the film and talked about how we could help ourselves," Vaughn said. "There were numerous possessions in the first half where we could have been in better places ... and we did that in the second half and that was the difference." NOTES: The Magic honoured former players Sam Vincent and Jeff Turner, along with former team executive John Gabriel as part of their 25th anniversary season celebration. ... Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis sat courtside Friday. Model Kate Upton also was in attendance, sitting on the baseline alongside Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. ... A Magic season-ticket holder won $10,000 during a timeout promotion by hitting a free throw, layup and 3-pointer within 24 seconds. ' ' '
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