Family of former Blackhawks player Steve Montador files lawsuit against NHL

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CHICAGO -- Lawyers for the family of former Blackhawks player Steve Montador have filed a federal lawsuit against the NHL alleging the league failed to inform players of the brain damage.

Lawyers are comparing this case to the one the NFL faced a couple of years ago, seeking damages and changes in the sport. So now the NHL -- known for its brawling brand of hockey -- has a legal fight on its hands.

Montador played for 13 seasons in the NHL, and suffered 15 documented concussions. The former He died in February at age 35. An autopsy showed he suffered from "chronic traumatic encephalopathy," the consequence of all the hits he took to the head.

Tuesday, on behalf of the Montador estate, attorney William Gibbs filed a federal lawsuit against the NHL, saying the league had collected the information showing the game leads to brain trauma, but it failed to warn Montador -- and other players -- of the  risks.

The suit says the NHL sought to conceal critical information from players so it could continue to profit.

The NHL maintains that there is no definitive scientific evidence of a link between pro hockey and brain damage.