CORNWALL, Ontario – A Cornwall River King is going after the NHL in a lawsuit that alleges as many as 30 per cent of retired players have, or will develop, brain damage from head injuries and concussions.
Sasha Pokulok has filed a statement of claim, according to a report by TSN. It’s unclear what Pokuluk is seeking by way of damages.
Pokulok is entering his third season with the River Kings. He was drafted 14th overall by the Washington Capitals in 2005, but has never played a game in the NHL.
He did, however, sign a contract with the Capitals and spent his time playing in minor leagues like the AHL and ECHL before beginning a playing career in Europe.
Pokulok returned to North America and began playing with the River Kings in 2012.
The lawsuit says Pokulok played under an NHL contract for three years and suffered multiple head traumas during his career, including in training camps, NHL rookie games, and prospect and main camps.
“Mr. Pokulok was never warned by the NHL of the negative health effects of head trauma,” reads the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also includes a quote from former Cornwall Royal Owen Nolan, who said the new NHL glass is “a lot harder. It’s like hitting concrete.”
Simon Danis-Pepin, a 2006 second-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, also attached his name to the lawsuit.
The NHL has faced six lawsuits concerning brain injuries.
Pokulok’s lawsuit was filed in a Minnesota court. A copy of the lawsuit can be found here.