Center Bob Bourne says his involvement in the suit is based on a quest for knowledge. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
Bob Bourne, a four-time Stanley Cup winner with the New York Islanders and former 14-year NHL veteran, has become the 11th player to sign on to the class-action lawsuit alleging the league knowingly exposed players to long-term health risks through violent hitting and, in particular, incidents of head contact.
Bourne made his involvement public on Tuesday night, but it was a tweet from his recently established Twitter account that was eye-catching. The link on the tweet leads to the website of Mel Owens, the NFL player-turned-attorney who is heading the lawsuit:
There was no immediate indication anywhere on Owens' site that players other than Bourne have officially signed on, but Sportsnet's Chris Johnston is reporting that the suit has indeed grown to include 200 players.
In other developments:
Steve Silverman, another attorney involved with the case, said on Tuesday that the NHLPA had no involvement with the case.
"They are irrelevant to our suit. They are irrelevant to helping the players we represent," Silverman told David Naylor on TSN 1050 in Toronto. "I hope they help the current players but they have nothing to do with the people I represent."
Several higher profile players have made it known that they won't be among those joining the suit.
MUIR: Former Maple Leaf Vaive withdraws from lawsuit
"I'm not going to tell people what to do and say they're all trying to cap on the system right now," Jeremy Roenick told Associated Press. "That's their prerogative. They can put themselves in public. They can go after the league that they craved to be in since they were little kids and paid their salary.
"I've always lived in the fact that I played the game of hockey knowing there was a lot of risk to be taken. I went on the ice knowing that my health and my life could be altered in a split second, and I did it because I loved the game."
Roenick said he suffered 13 concussions over his 20-year NHL career. "I can tell you that the teams I was with handled it very well and professionally throughout the whole ordeal."
Craig Simpson, who played 10 seasons for the Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins, received a text gauging his interest while he was on the air with Sirius/XM's "Hockey Night In Canada" radio show. He said he would not join the suit.
Both Roenick and Simpson are currently employed as analysts by NHL broadcast partners.
MUIR: Players face uphill fight | McCANN: Analyzing the lawsuit's merits
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