Transcript: The Future of Hockey | Dec 18, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, pink shirt, and spotted blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Minding the game."

Steve says HEAD SHOTS. FIGHTING.
HARD, FAST HITS.
HOCKEY IS A TOUGH SPORT, BUT
THAT SHOULDN'T HAVE TO MEAN YOU
TAKE YOUR LIFE INTO YOUR HANDS
WHEN YOU PLAY, ESPECIALLY AS IT
RELATES TO HEAD INJURIES.
KEN DRYDEN IS A SIX-TIME STANLEY
CUP CHAMPION, MEMBER OF THE HALL
OF FAME, FORMER FEDERAL CABINET
MINISTER, AND NOW THE AUTHOR OF
"GAME CHANGE: THE LIFE AND DEATH
OF STEVE MONTADOR AND THE
FUTURE OF HOCKEY."
AND number 29 JOINS US NOW FOR MORE.
FOR 29 MINUTES.
RIGHT HERE ON TVO.

Ken is in his sixties, clean-shaven, with short white hair. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit and a black sweater.
A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a picture of Steve Montador in his thirties, in a hockey rink.

Steve continues NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.

Ken says THANKS.

Steve says IT IS UNUSUAL, KEN,
TO START A BOOK BY CONFESSING
YOU DON'T REALLY KNOW THIS
PERSON AT ALL AND AM NOT SURE
YOU REMEMBER HAVING SEEN THEM
PLAY ON THE ICE, BUT HERE YOU
GO. THIS IS HOW THE BOOK OPENS...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "What has happened to the game?" The quote reads "I never met Steve Montador.
When I heard the news of Steve's death, I wanted to know how, and why a thirty-five-year-old, recently retired hockey player had died.
This is Steve's story, and it's the story of a game –of where it began, how it got to be where it is, where it can go from here, and how it can get there."
Quoted from Ken Dryden, "Game change." 2017.

Steve says I SUSPECT ALMOST
EVERYBODY REMEMBERS YOUR FIRST
BOOK ON THE GAME WHICH WAS A
LOVE LETTER TO HOCKEY.
IF THAT WASN'T AT ONE END OF THE
CONTINUUM, IS THIS AT THE OTHER
END, A KIND OF CAUTIONARY TALE?

The caption changes to "Ken Dryden. Author, 'Game change.'"
Then, it changes again to "A Don Cherry type of player."

Ken says I DON'T THINK SO.
I DON'T THINK OF IT THAT WAY,
ANYWAY.
AND I ALSO DON'T LIKE CAUTIONARY
TALES.
I THINK... I LIKE ASPIRATIONAL
TALES.
AND THAT'S WHY I WROTE THIS
BOOK, AND THAT'S WHY THE LAST
CHAPTER IS THE LONGEST CHAPTER
IN THE BOOK BY FAR, BECAUSE IT
SUGGESTS A PATH TOWARDS AN
ASPIRATION.
I THINK, YOU KNOW, CAUTIONARY
TALES ARE INTERESTING.
THEY TELL US WHAT MIGHT BE.
BUT THEY DON'T TELL US HOW TO
GET AWAY FROM WHAT MIGHT BE.

Steve says AND YOU WANT US TO
GET THERE.

Ken says I WANT US TO GET THERE.
I HAVE NO INTEREST IN WALLOWING
AROUND IN A... YOU KNOW, IN A
DYSTOPIA IN TERMS OF THE FUTURE.
I WANT TO GET A BETTER PLACE.

Steve says STEVE MONTADOR.
WE SHOULD DESCRIBE HIM.
YOU CAN BE A BIG HOCKEY FAN AND
NOT RECALL STEVE MONTADOR OR
HAVING RECALLED SEEING HIM PLAY.
A HOCKEY PLAYER'S HOCKEY PLAYER.

The caption changes to "Ken Dryden. Former Liberal MP."

Ken says STEVE WAS A GUY WHO IS ON
EVERY TEAM I THINK THAT HAS EVER
PLAYED.
HE'S BEEN ON EVERY 8-YEAR-OLD'S
TEAM, AND HE'S BEEN ON EVERY
STANLEY CUP CHAMPION.
AND HE'S BEEN ON THE 31st
PLACE TEAM IN A LEAGUE THAT IS
WAY OUT OF THE PLAYOFFS BY THE
MIDDLE OF APRIL.
HE'S SOMEBODY WHO IS A PRETTY
GOOD PLAYER, BUT HE'S A FAR
BETTER TEAMMATE THAN HE IS A
PLAYER.
HE'S SOMEBODY WHO FITS IN, FILLS
IN.
WHEN THERE'S A NEED, HE TRIES TO
FILL IT.
HE WAS SOMEBODY WHO WAS
DESCRIBED AS A FIVE-SIX
DEFENCEMAN.
THAT MEANS HE WOULD GET ABOUT 15
MINUTES OF ICE TIME A GAME.

Pictures of Steve Montador playing hockey flash by.

Steve says IN A 60-MINUTE GAME.

Ken says SO NOT THAT MUCH.
NOT THAT MUCH.
BUT, YOU KNOW, THE BETTER
PLAYERS NEED A REST.
AGAIN, IN BASEBALL, IT WOULD BE
THE EQUIVALENT OF THE STARTER
THAT GIVES YOU INNINGS.
AND SO THEN YOU CAN GET BACK TO
THE TOP OF THE ROTATION WHERE
YOU'VE GOT THE GUYS WHO WIN
GAMES.
WELL, STEVE IS SOMEBODY WHO
WOULD BE ON THE ICE TO TRY TO
NOT LOSE YOU A GAME WHILE THE
OTHERS ARE RESTING TO GO OUT
THEN TO WIN YOU THE GAME.

Steve says AND HE MADE A GOOD
LIVING DOING THAT, DIDN'T HE?

Ken says HE DID.

Steve says BY THE END HE SIGNED
A FOUR-YEAR MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR
CONTRACT.

Ken says THAT WAS THE TRIUMPH.
IT WAS AN AMOUNT AND A TERM
THAT WAS LONGER THAN HE EVER IMAGINED.
HE WAS ALWAYS A KIND OF
ONE-YEAR, TWO-YEAR CONTRACT
PLAYER, AND EARNING A VERY
DECENT AMOUNT OF MONEY, BUT
FINALLY, I MEAN, HIS TRIUMPH WAS
HIS LAST CONTRACT WAS WITH THE
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS WHO HAD NOT
WON THE CUP THE PREVIOUS YEAR
BUT HAD WON BEFORE THAT, WERE
CLEARLY A TEAM THAT WAS GOING TO
BE A CONTENDER IN THE FUTURE,
AND THEY WERE WILLING TO SIGN
HIM, FIRST OF ALL, AND THEN TO
SIGN HIM FOR FOUR YEARS AND FOR
THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT THEY
DID, I MEAN, THIS WAS THE
MESSAGE TO STEVE THAT FINALLY HE
REALLY HAD MADE IT.

Steve says THE HORRIBLE IRONY
OF ALL OF THAT, OF COURSE, IS BY
THE TIME THEY SIGNED HIM, HE WAS
A VERY DAMAGED HOCKEY PLAYER,
EVEN THOUGH THEY AND HE PROBABLY
DIDN'T KNOW THE EXTENT OF THE
DAMAGE.
STEVE PLAYED HIS FIRST NHL GAME
IN 2001.
IN 2012, HE PLAYED HIS LAST.
BETWEEN JANUARY 8 AND FEBRUARY 8
OF 2012, JUST OVER ONE MONTH, HE
WAS HIT ON FOUR SEPARATE
OCCASIONS AND SUFFERED
CONCUSSIVE SYMPTOMS EACH TIME,
AND YET EACH TIME, HE IS ALMOST
IMMEDIATELY RIGHT BACK OUT
THERE.
WHY?

Ken says BECAUSE THE TESTS SAID HE WAS FINE.
I REMEMBER WHEN I FIRST GOT
ACCESS TO THE DOCTORS' REPORTS,
AND I THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING TO
BE INCREDIBLY SLAP-DASH,
HAPHAZARD, AND WHEN I READ THEM,
THEY WEREN'T.
I MEAN, THEY WERE QUITE
RIGOROUS-LOOKING AND SOUNDING.
THEY TESTED FOR THIS, THEY
TESTED FOR THAT.
HE WAS A LITTLE LOW HERE; HE WAS
A LITTLE HIGH THERE.
HE WAS, YOU KNOW, AT THE END,
NOT ABLE TO PLAY.
THEN TESTING AGAIN.
THEN HE WAS ABLE TO PLAY.
AND THEN I READ IT... THEN THE
NEXT TIME, AND THEN THE TIME
AFTER THAT.
AND IT WASN'T UNTIL I HAD READ
THREE OR FOUR OF THEM THAT I
STARTED TO GET IMPATIENT.
AND IT WAS LIKE, NO, YOUR TESTS
SAY HE'S FINE, BUT HE'S NOT FINE.

Steve says SO THERE'S SOMETHING
WRONG WITH THE TESTS.

Ken says THERE'S SOMETHING... THE
TESTS GO ONLY SO FAR.
THE PERSON WHO IS GIVING THE
TEST, YOU KNOW, THESE DOCTORS
ARE EXPERT IN THEIR FIELD.
THEY KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING.
THEY'VE BEEN TRAINED.
THEY HAVE EXPERIENCE.
BUT THERE ARE THINGS THAT THEY
DON'T KNOW EITHER.
SO TO THEIR EYE, THE EYE OF THE
TESTS, STEVE WAS FINE, BUT HE
WASN'T FINE.

Steve says THERE IS SOMETHING,
AND YOU TELL US ABOUT IT IN THE
BOOK, THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE
DNA OF A HOCKEY PLAYER WHICH,
YOU KNOW, HIS LEG COULD BE
HANGING ON BY A SINEWY TENDON
AND HE WASN'T TO GET RIGHT BACK
OUT THERE AND NOT MISS A SHIFT.
WHAT IS THAT, KEN?

The caption changes to "Ken Dryden, @KenDryden."

Ken says WELL, I THINK... I THINK IT'S
THERE IN ALL OF US, IT'S JUST
THERE IN A EXAGGERATED WAY WITH
A PLAYER.
ALL OF US SHOW UP TO WORK ON
MONDAY WHEN WE'RE FEELING LOUSY.
WELL, A HOCKEY PLAYER DOES TOO.
BUT PART OF THE ETHIC OF BEING A
PLAYER IS THAT YOU PLAY.
THAT'S WHAT YOU DO.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Steve says THAT IS THE JOB
DESCRIPTION, ISN'T IT?

Ken says YOU ARE A PLAYER.
THAT'S RIGHT.
YOU PLAY BECAUSE YOU LOVE TO
PLAY.
YOU PLAY BECAUSE YOUR TEAMMATES
NEED YOU TO PLAY.
YOUR COACH EXPECTS YOU TO PLAY.
THE FANS HOPE YOU WILL PLAY.
THE MEDIA ASSUME YOU WILL PLAY.
I MEAN, THERE'S A PHRASE THAT
USED TO BE UNDERSTOOD,
OCCASIONALLY MENTIONED ON A
BROADCAST, AND NOW IS SAID
VIRTUALLY EVERY TIME A HOCKEY
PLAYER GOES DOWN, IS THAT BY THE
TIME... EVENTUALLY WHEN HE GETS
UP AND HE GOES OVER AND HE'S
HEADING TOWARDS THE DRESSING
ROOM IS THE ANNOUNCER WILL SAY:
BUT HE'LL BE BACK.
HE'S A HOCKEY PLAYER.
AND THERE ARE SOMETIMES WHEN YOU
SHOULDN'T BE BACK.
BUT A PLAYER TREATS AN INJURY
LIKE ANOTHER OPPONENT.
AND ALL OF YOUR LIFE, YOU ARE
THERE TO TRY TO DEFEAT YOUR
OPPONENT.
YOU FIND A WAY AROUND, YOU FIND
A NEW STRATEGY, YOU FIND A WAY.
WELL, THAT'S WHAT AN INJURY IS.
AND YOUR ASSUMPTION IS THAT,
WELL, I CAN... YOU KNOW, WINNING
HEALTHY IS EASY.
WINNING SICK OR WINNING INJURED,
THAT'S A REAL TEST.
AND WHEN YOU DO IT, YOU KNOW, A
PRIDE, YOU KNOW, COMES OUT...

Steve says NOW, HE DID MISS,
STEVE DID MISS NUMEROUS GAMES ON
NUMEROUS OCCASIONS WITH
POST-CONCUSSION SYMPTOMS, AND
YET SOMEHOW HE ALWAYS FOUND A
WAY TO GET BACK IN THERE.
IN HINDSIGHT, IS IT OBVIOUS THAT
AT SOME POINT EITHER HE SHOULD
HAVE OR SOMEBODY SHOULD HAVE
SHUT HIM DOWN FOR GOOD?

Ken says THAT'S THE REALLY DIFFICULT
PART OF THIS WHOLE DISCUSSION
AND DEBATE.
SO, AGAIN, FIRST OF ALL, AS WE
TALKED ABOUT, YOU KNOW, THAT
WELL-TRAINED PEOPLE AND WITH
WELL-CONSIDERED TESTS DON'T SEE
EVERYTHING IN IT.
THEN THERE'S ALSO THE LINE, YOU
KNOW, WHICH IS OFTEN KIND OF
USED AS A DEFENCE, IS THAT,
WELL, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE ADULTS.
YOU KNOW, THEY MAKE THEIR OWN
DECISIONS.
WHO AM I TO SORT OF STAND IN THE
WAY OF SOMEBODY WHO WANTS TO DO
WHAT THEY WANT TO DO?
AND AFTER ALL, I'VE GOT NO
SCIENTIFIC BASIS THAT WOULD
ALLOW ME TO SHUT SOMEBODY DOWN.
BUT ALL OF US NEED SOMEBODY IN
OUR LIVES TO AT SOME POINT SAY,
TOO MUCH.
YOU KNOW, THIS SHOULD BE THE
MOMENT.
AND ONE OF THE THINGS WITH
STEVE, I MEAN, STEVE WASN'T
MARRIED.
HE DIDN'T HAVE A GIRLFRIEND.
THERE WASN'T SOMEBODY REGULAR IN
HIS LIFE THAT AT SOME POINT
MIGHT SAY, "STEVE, DO YOU THINK
MAYBE THIS MIGHT BE ENOUGH?"
HE HAD GREAT FRIENDS, BUT HIS
FRIENDS WERE AT SOME DISTANCE.
HE HAD TEAMMATES, BUT TEAMMATES
SUPPORT TEAMMATES IN WHAT
TEAMMATES WANT TO DO.
THE COACHES, YOU KNOW, WELL, IF
HE REALLY WANTS TO PLAY, IF HE
REALLY WANTS TO PLAY...
I MEAN, ONE OF THE GREAT
EXAMPLES LAST YEAR IN THE
PLAYOFFS WAS CLARKE MacARTHUR
OF THE OTTAWA SENATORS.
HERE IS SOMEBODY WHO HAD A
HISTORY OF CONCUSSIONS.
HE COULDN'T PASS THE TEST.
EVERYBODY ASSUMED THAT HE WAS
DONE.
HE KEPT WORKING OUT, WORKING
OUT, WORKING OUT.
FINALLY ON THE VERGE OF THE
PLAYOFFS, HE PASSED THE TEST,
AND IT WAS THIS INCREDIBLE
MOMENT OF TRIUMPH.
OF THE FANS, OF HIM, OF HIS
COACHES, OF HIS TEAMMATES...
EVERYBODY WANTED THIS WONDERFUL
STORY TO HAPPEN BECAUSE CLARKE
MacARTHUR'S A GREAT GUY AND HE
HAS BEEN WORKING LIKE CRAZY, AND
FINALLY HE'S REWARDED, AND ALL
OF THIS IS FABULOUS.
AND HE WENT OUT AND HE PLAYED
AND HE SURVIVED THE PLAYOFFS.
THEN IN THE OFF-SEASON HE
COULDN'T PASS THE TEST AGAIN.
BUT THE PROBLEM IN ALL OF THAT
IS THAT THE BRAIN DOESN'T REALLY
RESPOND TO THE SENSE OF TRIUMPH
AND GOOD FEELING.
I MEAN, IT'S GOING TO REACT THE
WAY IT'S GOING TO REACT.
AND EVEN THOUGH EVERYBODY
DESPERATELY WANTED EVERYTHING TO
BE FINE FOR CLARKE MacARTHUR,
THAT DOESN'T MEAN THINGS WERE
FINE, THE SAME AS WITH STEVE MONTADOR.

Steve says EXCEPT THAT FOR
EVERY HOLLYWOOD ENDING LIKE
CLARKE MacARTHUR GOT,
BOOGAARD, RYPIEN, PROBERT... NOT
A LONG LIST, BUT YOU HAVE A LIST
OF PLAYERS WHO ARE DYING WAY TOO
YOUNG.
WHY... AND THE NHL ACTUALLY
ALWAYS SEES THINGS AS SORT OF,
WELL, THAT'S A ONE-OFF.
THAT LIST OF ONE-OFFS IS GETTING
AWFULLY LONG, ISN'T IT?

The caption changes to "Deny, stall, appease, never change."

Ken says IT IS A LONG LIST.
AND WHAT IS A MUCH, MUCH, MUCH
LONGER LIST ARE THE LESS
DRAMATIC EXAMPLES OF WHERE
PEOPLE DON'T DIE, BUT THEY LIVE
VERY DIMINISHED LIVES.
THAT'S THE PART THAT... WE GET
INTO THIS DEBATE ABOUT CTE, AND
IT SEEMS AS IF IT'S CTE OR NOT,
AND THAT'S THE QUESTION.
NO, IT'S NOT.
I MEAN, CTE IS THE WORST EXAMPLE
OF IT AND THAT YOU DISCOVER ONLY
IN POST MORTEMS, BUT WHAT IS IT
LIKE TO ESSENTIALLY HAVE THE
SYMPTOMS OF AN 85-YEAR-OLD WHEN
YOU'RE 35 YEARS OLD, WHEN YOUR
MEMORY IS LOUSY, WHEN ALL OF
YOUR LIFE YOU'VE BEEN IN
COMPLETELY PRESSURE-FILLED
INSTANCES, AND THEN IN A
NON-PRESSURE-FILLED INSTANCE,
YOU FEEL GREAT ANXIETY?
WHEN IT'S DEPRESSION.
WHEN YOU'RE ABLE TO... WHEN
YOU'RE NOT ABLE TO PUT KIND OF
RUDIMENTARY PIECES TOGETHER TO
SOLVE PROBLEMS.
THAT IS NOT A VERY NICE LIFE,
YOU KNOW, AND WHETHER STEVE HAD
DIED OR NOT AT AGE 35, THOSE
WERE THE SYMPTOMS THAT HE WAS
FEELING THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS
OF HIS LIFE.
AND HE HAD ALL OF THIS MONEY
THAT HE HAD EARNED, HE WAS A
SMART GUY, LOTS OF INTERESTS,
OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE HAD 50
YEARS AHEAD OF HIM OF AN
INCREDIBLY INTERESTING LIFE
EXCEPT HE DIDN'T HAVE THE
CAPACITY TO LIVE THE KIND OF
LIFE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN AHEAD
OF HIM.
THAT IS BY FAR THE GREATER
PROBLEM TO ME THAN THE DRAMA,
YOU KNOW, OF SOME PLAYERS WHO
HAVE DIED.

Steve says WE SHOULD ACTUALLY
TAKE A MOMENT HERE TO EXPLAIN
THE THREE MOST TERRIFYING
LETTERS TO MOST PROFESSIONAL
ATHLETES TODAY: CTE.
WHAT IS THAT, KEN?

Ken says WELL, IT IS CHRONIC TRAUMATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY.
ESSENTIALLY WHAT IT IS, IS IT IS
CALLED TAU, BUT IT GETS IN THE
WAY OF THE KIND OF
COMMUNICATIONS THAT HAPPEN
INSIDE OF OUR BRAIN.
THAT CONNECT THE DIFFERENT
PIECES.
WELL, IF THOSE PIECES ARE NOT
CONNECTED BY THE... OF THE
STIMULI, WE JUST DON'T FUNCTION
VERY WELL.

Steve says AND STEVE HAD IT?

Ken says AND STEVE HAD IT.

Steve says IN SPADES?

Ken says I DON'T KNOW.
HE HAD CTE.

Steve says YOU DON'T TELL US IN
THE BOOK HOW HE DIED.
DO YOU KNOW HOW HE DIED?

Ken says I KNOW THE ASPECTS OF HOW HE
DIED, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT
THE... YOU KNOW, WHAT THE
CORONER WOULD SAY FINALLY AT THE
END OF IT.
TO ME, YOU KNOW, HIS STORY WAS
ABOUT THE EFFECTS ON HIS BRAIN
AND WHAT HIS LIFE WAS LIKE, YOU
KNOW, AT THE END, AND THAT TO ME
WAS THE STORY... I SPENT VERY
LITTLE TIME ON WRITING, YOU
KNOW, THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS OF
HIS LIFE.

Steve says THERE IS NO DOUBT IN
YOUR MIND THAT THE MULTIPLE
BLOWS TO THE HEAD THAT HE TOOK
OVER THE COURSE OF HIS 12 YEARS
IN THE NHL RESULTED IN HIS
DEVELOPING CTE; RIGHT?

Ken says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says THERE IS
CONSIDERABLE DOUBT AMONG
OFFICIAL NHL DOM, PARTICULARLY
COMMISSIONER GARY BETTMAN.
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT DOUBT
EXISTS IN THEIR MINDS?

Ken says BECAUSE I THINK IT'S THE
DOUBT THAT YOU GENERATE WHEN YOU
ARE A LAWYER AND WHEN YOU ARE
FACING LAWSUITS.
I MEAN, THAT A LAWYER FACING A
CASE LIKE THIS WOULD SAY, YOU
KNOW, IT COULD HAPPEN AT ANY
TIME IN HIS LIFE.
IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED WHEN HE
FELL DOWNSTAIRS WHEN HE WAS TWO
YEARS OLD.
IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED IN A
PEEWEE GAME.
IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED AT ANY
MOMENT.
WHAT THE LAWYER WOULD SAY IS
THAT YOU'VE GOT NO CASE BECAUSE
YOU'VE GOT NO WAY TO ESTABLISH
CAUSE.
THAT, YEAH, SURE, HE SUFFERED A
LOT OF BLOWS WHEN HE WAS
PLAYING, A LOT MORE BLOWS THAN
HE WOULD HAVE SUFFERED DOING
ANYTHING ELSE, BUT YOU'VE GOT A
LOT OF DOTS AND YOU'RE NOT ABLE
TO CONNECT THOSE DOTS, AND IF
YOU CAN'T CONNECT THOSE DOTS,
THEN YOU CAN'T CONNECT ME, THE
NHL, TO THOSE DOTS, SO YOU'VE
GOT NO CASE.

Steve says THAT'S ACCURATE,
THOUGH, ISN'T IT?

Ken says IT IS ACCURATE IF YOU ARE...
POTENTIALLY ACCURATE IN FRONT OF
A COURT.
IT IS ARGUABLE IN FRONT OF A
COURT.
THE QUESTION IN ALL OF THIS IS,
DO WE FUNCTION AS
DECISION-MAKERS AS LAWYERS?
OR DO WE TAKE A LEGAL SIDE OF
THINGS INTO CONSIDERATION AS WE
MAKE OTHER DECISIONS?
AND I THINK THAT PROBABLY WHAT
THOSE WHO ARE THE BEST
DECISION-MAKERS, THEY... YOU
KNOW, THEY INFORM THEMSELVES IN
ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT WAYS.
THEY WOULD LOOK AROUND OUR
LEAGUE AND SAY, WELL, YOU KNOW,
CAN'T CONNECT THOSE DOTS, BUT,
GEES, THERE ARE A LOT OF PLAYERS
THAT HAVE DIED WHEN THEY
SHOULDN'T HAVE DIED.
THERE ARE A LOT OF PLAYERS WHOSE
LIVES HAVE BEEN DIMINISHED, WHO
IN OTHER 35-YEAR-OLDS, THEIR
LIVES WEREN'T DIMINISHED.
AND WHETHER IT'S PLAYERS LIKE
ERIC LINDROS OR PAUL KARIYA WHO
WERE REAL SUPERSTARS, I MEAN,
WHO COULD DO ALMOST ANYTHING
THEY WANTED TO ON THE ICE.
AND THEN THEY COULDN'T.
AND THEN THEY REALLY COULDN'T.

Steve says BECAUSE OF BLOWS TO
THE HEAD?

Ken says BECAUSE OF BLOWS TO THE HEAD
OR... BUT WHO KNOWS?
THAT WOULD BE THE ARGUMENT IS,
YOU DON'T KNOW WHY, EXCEPT YOU
AS THE FAN WATCHING SEE HOW
SOMEBODY IN THEIR LATE 20s,
WHO SHOULDN'T BE DIMINISHED AS A
PLAYER, EVENTUALLY TIME WILL
CATCH UP AND DIMINISH THOSE
SKILLS, BUT THAT USUALLY DOESN'T
HAPPEN WHEN YOU'RE 27, 28, 29
YEARS OLD.
AND SO YOU JUST... YOU KNOW, AS
ANY CITIZEN WOULD, YOU STEP BACK
AND GO, "NO, I HAVE SOME LIFE
EXPERIENCE TOO.
AND IT'S NOT JUST WHAT THE LEGAL
EVIDENCE WILL SAY TO ME.
I HAVE MY OWN COMMON SENSE AND
THAT'S WHAT I APPLY WHEN I'M A
DECISION-MAKER."

Steve says RICHARD BLUMENTHAL
IS A U.S. SENATOR AND HE ASKED
GARY BETTMAN TO GET BACK TO HIM
AND YOU WRITE IN THE BOOK A
SINGLE SPACE RESPONSE AND THIS
IS PART OF IT, THE COMMISSIONER
OF THE NHL...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Bettman's responds to the U.S. Senate." The quote reads "The science regarding CTE, including on the asserted 'link' to concussions remains nascent, particularly with respect to what causes CTE and whether it can be diagnosed by specific clinical symptoms.
The relationship between concussion and the asserted clinical symptoms of CTE remains unknown.
At bottom, the science just has not advanced to the point where causation determinations can responsibly be made."
Gary Bettman's letter to Senator Blumenthal as published in the New York Times. July 26, 2016.

Steve says I WANT TO KNOW IF
YOU'VE TALKED TO GARY BETTMAN
ABOUT THIS.
YOU KNOW THE GUY, RIGHT?

Ken says I DO.

Steve says HAVE YOU TALKED TO
HIM ABOUT THIS?

Ken says I HAVE.

Steve says WHAT'S HIS RESPONSE
WHEN YOU GO AT HIM ON THIS?

The caption changes to "Ken Dryden. Six-time Stanley Cup Winner."

Ken says THAT IS THE RESPONSE.
AND THE THING THAT HAS SURPRISED
ME THROUGH THIS IS THAT... YOU
KNOW, WE ARE OF AN AGE WHERE WE
FOLLOWED THE TOBACCO STORY, WE
FOLLOWED THE ASBESTOS STORY, THE
LEAD STORY, AND SOME OTHERS THAT
WAY.
AND SO I UNDERSTAND, YOU KNOW,
THOSE WHO ARE THE PROPONENTS AND
WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO SAY.
BUT WHEN YOU... WHAT REALLY
SURPRISED ME WAS HOW YOU GO FROM
NOT KNOWING ABOUT SOMETHING, AND
AT A CERTAIN POINT WE ALL DON'T
KNOW ABOUT SOMETHING.
THEN WE KNOW A LITTLE BIT, BUT
WE DON'T TREAT IT NECESSARILY AS
SERIOUSLY AS SOME OTHERS DO, AND
THAT'S AN UNDERSTANDABLE STEP.
THEN YOU MAY GET TO A POINT OF
KIND OF DENYING THE CONNECTION
WHEN OTHERS ARE PROPOSING IT.
THEN YOU DEFEND IT IN VARIOUS
WAYS AND YOU HAVE YOUR EXPERTS
UP, EVEN IF THEY'RE NOT AS
EXPERT AS THE OTHER SIDE OR AS
MANY OF THEM, BUT YOU DEFEAT IT
THAT WAY.
THE STEP THAT SURPRISED ME, BUT
SHOULDN'T, IS THE STEP OF WHERE
AT ONE POINT YOU ARE DENYING
SCIENCE, THEN YOU DECIDE TO SAY
THAT, NO, ACTUALLY, I'M GOING TO
WRAP MYSELF IN THE FLAG OF
SCIENCE AND SAY, YOU KNOW, WE
ARE MODERN SCIENTIFIC PEOPLE.
WE ARE EVIDENCE-BASED PEOPLE.
AND WHEN SCIENCE KNOWS, THEN WE
WILL FOLLOW SCIENCE.
BUT SCIENCE DOESN'T KNOW.
AND OF COURSE THAT'S A
FUNDAMENTAL MISREADING OF
SCIENCE.
I MEAN, SCIENCE NEVER KNOWS.
SCIENCE ONLY KNOWS THE BEST IT
CAN AT ANY PARTICULAR MOMENT.
SCIENCE WILL KNOW BETTER
TOMORROW AND NEXT WEEK AND FIVE
YEARS FROM NOW AND TEN YEARS
FROM NOW.
BUT AS A DECISION-MAKER, WHAT
YOU DO IS YOU TAKE THE BEST OF
WHAT SCIENCE KNOWS AT ANY
PARTICULAR TIME AND YOU APPLY IT
IN A MANNER THAT IS CONSISTENT
WITH THE DIMENSIONS OF THE
PROBLEM.
THAT'S WHAT YOU DO.
AND SO THAT PARTICULAR ANSWER IS
NOT THE BEST OF GARY BETTMAN IN
THE ANSWERS THAT HE GIVES.
I MEAN, IT WAS A VERY DEFENSIVE
ANSWER.

Steve says BUT I SUSPECT HE
WOULD SAY, "WE, THE NHL, HAVE
GONE A GREAT DISTANCE TO TAKING
HEAD SHOTS OUT OF THE GAME AND
YOU, KEN DRYDEN, SHOULD APPLAUD
US FOR THAT."
IS THAT FAIR TO SAY?

Ken says WHAT'S FAIR TO SAY IS THAT
THERE ARE FEWER HEAD SHOTS THAN
THERE USED TO BE.
I MEAN, AGAIN, THIS IS THE KIND
OF DEBATE THAT HAPPENS AROUND,
WHETHER IT'S CLIMATE CHANGE OR
ANYTHING ELSE, IS THAT, DO YOU
DENY THAT THINGS ARE BETTER, OR
DO YOU FOCUS ON THE FACT OF WHAT
HASN'T BEEN DONE?
AND THERE'S SUCH AN URGE TO SAY,
WELL, NOTHING MUCH HAS BEEN
DONE, BECAUSE IF YOU SAY THAT
SOMETHING HAS BEEN DONE, THEN
THE PERSON WHO HEARS THAT PATS
THEMSELVES ON THE BACK AND SAYS,
SEE?
THAT'S WHAT HE SAID.
WE'VE DONE ALL OF THIS STUFF.
NO, LET'S GET OFF OF THAT.
HAVE THINGS BEEN DONE?
YES.
ARE THERE FEWER INJURIES, HEAD
INJURIES, THAN THERE USED TO BE?
YES.
ARE THERE PEOPLE THAT ARE HAVING
THEIR LIVES DIMINISHED?
ABSOLUTELY.
THAT'S THE POINT.

Steve says AND THEREFORE...

Ken says AND THEREFORE, THAT'S WHERE
THE FOCUS, YOU KNOW, LIES.

Steve says YOU'VE GOT TO LOSE
ALL HEAD SHOTS IN THE GAME,
PERIOD, FULL STOP?

The caption changes to "So what now?"

Ken says ABSOLUTELY.
THE FACT OF IT IS... AND, AGAIN,
ANYBODY WHO KNOWS THE HISTORY OF
HOCKEY KNOWS THAT FROM VIRTUALLY
THE BEGINNING, WE KNEW THERE WAS
A VULNERABILITY TO THE HEAD.
THAT'S WHY WE CREATED THE
HIGH-STICKING PENALTY.
YOU DON'T HIGH-STICK A SHOULDER.
YOU HIGH-STICK A HEAD.
IT'S WHY WE CREATED AN ELBOWING
PENALTY.
SAME THING.
SO WE KNEW THE HEAD WAS
VULNERABLE.
WHAT WE REALLY DIDN'T THINK OF
AT THE TIME WAS HOW VULNERABLE
WAS IN FACT THE HEAD WAS LESS
VULNERABLE AT ONE TIME THAN IT
IS NOW.
IT IS NOW BECAUSE OF THE SPEED
OF THE GAME, WHERE PLAYERS
AREN'T PLAYING TWO-MINUTE
SHIFTS, AS THEY WERE WHEN I WAS
A KID, OR A MINUTE LONG WHEN I
WAS PLAYING IN THE NHL, BUT IT'S
35, 38 SECONDS.
THAT'S WHAT IT IS NOW.
IT IS A FULL-SPRINT GAME.
WHEN YOU GO OVER THE BOARDS, YOU
ARE IN A FULL SPRINT MODE UNTIL
YOU GO BACK OVER THE BOARDS AND
THEN YOU'RE REPLACED BY SOMEBODY
WHO IS IN A FULL SPRINT.
AND THAT'S FOR 60 MINUTES.
IT MEANS LESS SPACE, LESS TIME,
MORE COLLISIONS, MORE FORCEFUL
COLLISIONS, AND IT MEANS BODIES
RUNNING INTO HEADS.
THAT'S WHERE THE PROBLEM LIES.
WE WOULD SAY, WELL, A HIGH STICK
TO THE HEAD IS ILLEGAL.
AN ELBOW TO THE STICK IS
ILLEGAL.
BUT A SHOULDER TO THE HEAD IS
FINE.
AND A FIST TO THE HEAD IS NOT
ENTIRELY FINE, BUT IT'S SORT OF
ACCEPTABLE.

Steve says WHEN YOU'RE FIGHTING
OR SOMETHING.

Ken says YEAH.
EXCEPT IT'S, NO, NO, THAT ISN'T
THE POINT.
THE POINT IS ABOUT THE DAMAGE
THAT IT DOES TO A HEAD.
IT'S NOT THE INSTRUMENT AND IT'S
NOT THE CAUSE, IT'S THE EFFECT.
THAT'S WHAT IT'S ABOUT.
THE BRAIN DOESN'T DISTINGUISH
BETWEEN WHETHER IT GOT HIT BY AN
ELBOW OR BY A SHOULDER.
THE BRAIN DOESN'T CARE.
IT'S GOING TO BE EQUALLY
AFFECTED, IN FACT PROBABLY MORE
AFFECTED BECAUSE THE SHOULDER IS
A... YOU KNOW, IS A MORE
FORCEFUL INSTRUMENT THAN THE
ELBOW IS.
SO YOU JUST GET TO THIS POINT OF
SAYING, LOOK, YOU KNOW, WE APPLY
THE UNDERSTANDING THAT WE ALWAYS
HAD, BUT WE APPLY IT
CONSISTENTLY TO THE NATURE OF
WHAT THE GAME IS TODAY, AND
WHERE IF THE DANGEROUS
INSTRUMENT ON THE ICE IS NOT THE
STICK ANYMORE, THE BODY.
THAT'S THE MOST DANGEROUS
INSTRUMENT ON THE ICE.

Steve says TWO THINGS IN
PARTICULAR YOU WANT TO SEE.
WE TALKED ABOUT THE ABSENCE OF
HEAD SHOTS GOING FORWARD.
SHELDON, ROLL THIS VIDEO, IF YOU
WOULD.
THIS IS FROM SEVEN YEARS AGO.
THIS IS MATT COOK HITTING MARC
SAVARD, SAVARD ONE OF THOSE
PLAYERS IN THE NHL WHO SUSTAINED
NUMEROUS CONCUSSIONS OVER HIS TIME.

A short clip from a hockey game plays on screen.

Steve says AND THE THING TO NOTE HERE IS
THAT MATT COOK IS, QUOTE,
UNQUOTE, FINISHING HIS CHECK.
AND I GUESS ONE OF YOUR POINTS,
KEN, AS WELL, IS YOU DON'T WANT
TO SEE GUYS WHO NO LONGER HAVE
THE PUCK AND WHO ARE VULNERABLE
GET DREAMED BECAUSE, QUOTE,
UNQUOTE, THE OTHER GUY IS JUST
FINISHING HIS CHECK?

Ken says IT IS TOTALLY LUDICROUS.
I MEAN, I KNOW THE HISTORY OF IT.
IT CAME FROM FORECHECKING AND
INFERIOR TEAMS AND SO YOU RUSH
IN AND YOU DECIDE THAT, WELL, IF
I DON'T HIT THE GUY WHO ONCE HAD
THE PUCK, THEN I'M OUT OF THE
PLAY AND I'M REALLY IN TROUBLE.
SO YOU DECIDE TO CREATE A NEW
FORM OF UNDERSTANDING CALLED
FINISHING YOUR CHECK, WHICH
IF... YOU KNOW, IF YOU APPLIED
IT TO THE REST OF THE GAME, YOU
WOULD SAY THAT, WELL, I CAN HIT
ANYBODY ANY TIME ANYWHERE ON THE
ICE NO MATTER WHETHER HE'S GOT
THE PUCK OR NOT.
AND WE DECIDE THAT, NO, NO,
THAT'S NOT RIGHT.
SO WE GIVE AN INTERFERENCE
PENALTY.
BUT SOMEHOW, IF IN FACT YOU ONCE
HAD THE PUCK, EVEN IF YOU NO
LONGER HAVE IT NOW, IF YOU DID
HAVE IT SOME PERIOD OF TIME
BEFORE, THEN YOU ARE ALLOWED TO
BE HIT.
IT MAKES NO SENSE IN ANY REGARD
AND IT ALSO IS SOMEBODY WHO IS
READY TO DELIVER THE HIT, MOVING
AT SIGNIFICANT SPEED, AND
HITTING SOMEBODY WHO IS PRETTY
VULNERABLE AND WHO IS FOCUSED ON
MAKING THE PASS.
SO IT'S JUST ANOTHER ONE OF
THOSE INSTANCES OF WHERE, YOU
KNOW, IT REALLY IS ABOUT A HIT
TO THE HEAD BUT IT'S THIS
SUB-COMPONENT.
GET RID OF IT BECAUSE YOU HAVE
MORE PLAYERS NOW, BECAUSE IT'S A
PASSING GAME.
IF YOU'RE IN A PASSING GAME,
YOU'RE FOCUSED ON RECEIVING THE
PASS, YOU'RE FOCUSED ON GIVING
THE PASS.
YOU DON'T SEE A LOT OF PEOPLE
WHO ARE APPROACHING YOU.
IT'S NOT THE OLD THING OF HAVING
YOUR HEAD DOWN AND THEREFORE YOU
DESERVE IT.
IT'S JUST THE NATURE OF A
PASSING GAME.
SO WHY SHOULD YOU HAVE TO
PROTECT YOURSELF WHEN IN FACT
YOU'RE RECEIVING THE PASS, OR
HAVING GIVEN THE PASS, AND
YOU'RE BENT FORWARD A LITTLE
BIT, AND THE PLAY IS ALREADY
PAST YOU, BUT SOMEBODY CAN, AS
MATT COOK DID, BLAST YOU.
HOW DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?
AND WHAT IT DOES IN THE END IS,
LIKE MATT COOK WITH HIS
EXPLANATION, "WELL, I WAS JUST
FINISHING MY CHECK," SOMEHOW
THAT IS AN EXPRESSION OF JUSTICE
TO THE PLAYER WHO IS THE HITTER.
WHAT ABOUT JUSTICE TO THE PERSON
WHO HAS BEEN HIT?
WHAT ABOUT MARC SAVARD'S JUSTICE
AT THAT PARTICULAR MOMENT?

Steve says I THINK WE SHOULD
FINISH THIS UP BY SEEING STEVE
MONTADOR DOING WHAT HE REALLY
LOVED TO DO THE MOST, AND THAT
IS PLAY HOCKEY.
THIS IS OVER TIME, GAME ONE,
THIRD ROUND, 2004, FLAMES AND SHARKS.

A short clip from a game shows Montador scoring and celebrating with teammates.

An excited announcer says STEVE MONTADOR IS YOUR HERO!
THE FLAMES STRIKE FIRST IN THE
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL!

Steve says THERE'S NOTHING LIKE
THAT ANYWHERE ELSE IN LIFE, IS
THERE, AND YOU WOULD KNOW?

Ken says AND THE LOOK ON HIS FACE.
AND THE THING THAT WAS... HIS
TEAMMATES, EVEN TODAY, AND
THAT'S 13 YEARS AFTER THE FACT,
THEY REMEMBER THAT MOMENT AND
THEY HAVE SUCH JOY IN DESCRIBING
IT, IT WAS AS IF THEY SCORED THE
GOAL THEMSELVES.

The caption changes to "Producer: Eric Bombicino, @ebombicino."

Steve says YOU'VE DONE A GREAT
SERVICE WITH THIS BOOK.
IT'S A FASCINATING BOOK AND I
HOPE THEY'RE LISTENING.
"GAME CHANGE: THE LIFE AND DEATH
OF STEVE MONTADOR AND THE FUTURE
OF HOCKEY," WHICH KEN DRYDEN
CARES ABOUT BECAUSE HE HAS FOUR
GRANDCHILDREN PLAYING THE GAME
RIGHT NOW.

Ken says RIGHT.

Steve says THANKS SO MUCH, KEN.

Ken says THANKS A LOT, STEVE.

Watch: The Future of Hockey