Objective To determine the economic burden of salary costs lost due to injury in the National Hockey League (NHL).
Methods All NHL players who engaged in at least one regular season game during the 2009–2010 to 2011–2012 seasons comprised the study population. We performed a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of publically available media sources to collect injury and salary data. Outcome measurements were games missed during regular season play due to hockey-related injury and lost salary.
Results A total of 50.9% of all NHL players missed at least one game within a season of play, and injuries represented a total salary cost of approximately US$218 million per year. Concussions alone amounted to a salary loss of US$42.8 million a year. Head/neck injuries and leg/foot injuries were the most expensive in terms of overall cost, while head/neck and shoulder injuries had the highest mean cost.
Conclusions NHL players commonly miss time due to injury, which creates a substantial burden in lost salary costs.
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