While there hasn’t been a lack of public conversation regarding the impact that hits to the head can have on athletes and the link to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) as it pertains to the NFL, the NHL hasn’t been mentioned as often.
On Wednesday an important step forward was taken, as New Jersey Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy revealed in an interview with TSN that he has pledged his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation in Boston to be used for the research of neurological disorders including CTE.
Lovejoy, who according to TSN is the first active player to do so, said in the interview that he has yet to be diagnosed with a concussion in his NHL career.
“Hockey has been so good to me,” Lovejoy said in a Dec. 6 interview with TSN. “It’s helped me make a ton of friends, travel the country and world, and given me an amazing job that has paid me really well. My entire life has revolved exclusively around hockey and I want to give my brain to help make this game safer.”
Ben Lovejoy, who was a member of the 2016 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins, is in his ninth NHL season, with this being his second with the Devils. Lovejoy spent the first four-plus seasons of his NHL career with the Penguins before being traded to Anaheim during the 2012-13 campaign.
Lovejoy would be traded back to Pittsburgh in March 2015, where he would remain until signing with the Devils as a free agent in the summer of 2016.