Hear me out:
I am all for employee rights and that stuff (i.e supporting players in the lockout) but I think if someone is a professional hockeyplayer they know what to expect. Like someone else mentioned, it is the players themselves who just can't keep their ellbow down and heck (ie. Lupul) some are going into practise without the proper safety gear on. This is of course a difficult matter and if there is even the slighest possiblity of reducing concussion and keeping the players safer without making hockey into soccer, I am all for it.
Granted, I haven't read the lawsuit but one also has to keep in mind the different technology nowadays and back then. Should it come out, that some teams wanted the players to play WITH a concussion well then nothing to talk about and the lawsuit claims hopefully win. Toying around with players health should and can never be an option, no matter how important the points are health > hockey.
That's my stance on it.
Sure, and you've made some reasonable points. But as someone else said, it's kind of a misnomer to suggest that concussions are only the result of elbows and dirty hits. Plenty of concussions are simply the result of how fast the game is, which is something the NHL can control for the safety of the player. Furthermore, the "they know what to expect" argument may or may not be true, but it doesn't really matter. Just because you knew your industry is dangerous doesn't mean your employer doesn't have to do everything necessary to mitigate danger. I was in the Army for a long time, deployed overseas and all that. Pretty dangerous job obviously, and I knew it was. But because I knew it was dangerous doesn't mean the military doesn't have to enforce safety policies, or protect soldiers from each other (e.g. sexual assaults), or conduct investigations into long term side effects of military career (e.g. veteran suicide rates), etc. Saying "you knew what to expect" doesn't matter in the most dangerous industry on earth, and it shouldn't matter in hockey either.