Devils’ Ben Lovejoy pledges brain for concussion research

Toronto Maple Leafs centre William Nylander (29) runs into New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid (1) as Maple Leafs centre Zach Hyman (11) and Devils defenceman Ben Lovejoy (12) collide during second period NHL action in Toronto on Thursday, March 23, 2017. (Frank Gunn/CP)

BOSTON — New Jersey Devils defenceman Ben Lovejoy says he will donate his brain to research after he dies so it can be studied for signs of traumatic injury.

The Concussion Legacy Foundation says Lovejoy is the first active NHL player to make such a pledge.

More than 2,500 retired athletes and military veterans have pledged their brains to the foundation. Doctors examine the brains for signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative condition that can cause depression, violent mood swings, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems.

Lovejoy says he’s played hockey for most of his life, including 10 seasons in the NHL. He says he wants to give back to the sport by making it safer. He says he’s had relatively little brain trauma in his career but has seen the effects concussions have had on teammates.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.