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Lost-time injuries cost NHL $218 million per year: study

Toronto – More than half of National Hockey League players missed at least one game during the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons due to an injury, and concussions accounted for almost one-fifth of the lost-time costs, according to a new study from St. Michael’s Hospital.

The study involved 1,307 NHL players who played at least one regular-season game during the 2009-2010, 2010-2011 or 2011-2012 seasons, the study abstract states. Hockey-related injuries cost the NHL roughly $218 million a year, with concussions alone taking up $42.8 million, researchers found. Injuries to the foot/leg were most common, followed by head/neck injuries. Groin injuries also were common, although those injuries typically cost less than injuries to the shoulder, arm/hand and chest/abdomen.

Researchers noted that the study includes the period in which the NHL banned targeted head shots, suggesting additional efforts are needed to reduce head shots and injuries.

The study was published online Jan. 20 in the journal Injury Prevention.