November 4, 2019
About two and a half months ago, a Canadian led research team showed that eye injuries, primarily by puck or stick, cost Canadian hockey teams and the Canadian medical system more than $3 million dollars a year. Similarly, researchers also discovered that roughly half the players in the NHL are injured and lose playing time every year.
New research shows that, if all players wore visors, the cost of injuries would be a quarter of what they are today. The total payout for injuries (to cover time away from the game) is over $200 million dollars a year. Thirty percent of that total cost, about $70 million dollars, was due to leg and foot injuries. The next most common injuries are to the head and neck, costing around 60 million dollars. However, head injuries result in the longest time away from playing because they are generally the most dangerous. On the other hand, eye injuries cost only a fraction of the total payouts to players. Overall, the cost is rather staggering.
Should minor hockey leagues and the NHL be doing more to protect their players? While the game is incredibly entertaining, it costs a lot of money and has a large effect on the quality of life of its players. This includes effects on their mental health or in their personal lives, so at the end of the day, is the cost of entertainment too high?