Is there a link between frequent violent hits in hockey and the risk of dementia late in life? Yes. Absolutely. To say there is no link between severe concussions in hockey and risk of dementia late in life (CTE) is like saying there is no link between smoking and lung cancer. We need new rules to stop the violent hits in hockey. Thousands of hit to the brain, in any sport, can lead to dementia later in life. I respectfully disagree with the NHL commissioner, Mr. Bettman.