Another way for the NHL to characterize Leeman's claims as not suited for a court would be to say they are moral, not legal claims. Leeman and the other plaintiffs contend the NHL ignored warning signings about concussions, failed to implement medical monitoring and in some cases made the game more dangerous. The NHL will likely dismiss these arguments as untrue. Even if correct, the NHL might posit, they do not comprise legal arguments: the mere fact that the NHL could have made the game safer -- a critique which could be said of any sports league -- does not prove the league violated any laws.
Michael McCann is a Massachusetts attorney and the founding director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. He is also the distinguished visiting Hall of Fame Professor of Law at Mississippi College School of Law.