Former defenceman Nick Boynton: ‘NHL is in the stone ages’

Former NHL defenceman Nick Boynton says the league needs a culture change regarding concussions and is not doing enough to combat the issue that plagues many of its players.

“The NHL is in the stone ages,” Boynton said during Prime Time Sports on Thursday evening. “I don’t know what their thinking is, what their reasoning is. But I think society and media, and all of us, are doing a much better job getting stories out there and talking about it.”

Boynton, an 11-season NHL veteran, wrote a detailed piece in The Players’ Tribune that was published on Wednesday. In it, he admitted he was diagnosed with “eight or 10” concussions during his career, but played through several more that weren’t confirmed. He also outlined his struggles with depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts.

“I wasn’t strong enough to speak out while playing,” Boynton told hosts Bob McCown and Richard Deitsch on Sportsnet 590 The FAN. “I would never expect anybody to do the same.

“But if a bigger name were to come out and share their story, it might help move it along.”

Boynton, 39, played six seasons with the Bruins, before stints with the Coyotes, Panthers, Ducks, Blackhawks and Flyers. He was largely an enforcer, tallying 862 penalty minutes over 605 career games.

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