If the retired players suing the NHL about concussions win in court this summer, everyone who played in the league will become part of the class action lawsuit. Until then, it’s a personal decision to join.
Two more players who skated in Buffalo have signed up.
Paul Andrea, who was part of the inaugural Sabres, and Jim Krulicki, who played for the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League, have become part of the lawsuit. They are among 12 players who have joined more than 100 others in suing the NHL.
The former players allege the league was negligent in its care and fraudulently concealed the long-term risks of head injuries. They are seeking medical monitoring and compensatory damages.
Andrea had 11 goals and 32 points in 47 games with Buffalo in 1970-71. The 75-year-old claims to have suffered multiple head traumas in the NHL, which included stints with the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and California Golden Seals.
He suffers daily from depression, sleeplessness, dizziness, memory loss, impulse control, neurocognitive disorder, irritability/anxiousness, numbness in calves and feet, anger issues and ringing of the ears, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota.
Krulicki joined the Bisons for the 1970 AHL playoffs. He played in seven games, recording three goals and five points. The 69-year-old claims to have suffered multiple head injuries while playing for the Rangers and Detroit Red Wings.
Krulicki, according to the lawsuit, suffers from loss of judgment, decision making, multitasking and planning capabilities, and he has lost awareness and insight regarding his own condition. He suffers from mood swings, disinhibition, impulsivity and change of personality. He was diagnosed with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (a form of dementia), probable behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (a neurodegenerative disease) and idiopathic focal dystonia (perception and reflex problems).
Like the others in the lawsuit, Andrea and Krulicki believe they have enhanced risk of developing the brain disorder known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Krulicki joins friend and former teammate Mike Robitaille in the lawsuit. They played together with Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey Association and Omaha of the Central Hockey League in the 1960s.
There are 17 former Sabres suing the NHL, including Robitaille, Grant Ledyard, Shawn Anderson, Craig Muni, Mike Hartman and the family of late defenseman Steve Montador.
The first lawsuit against the league was filed in 2013. A motion for class certification is scheduled to be heard July 11 in Minnesota. If the class is certified, it will include all living and deceased NHL hockey players (plus their spouses, dependents and estates) who suffered a concussion or repeated, sub-concussive blows.