Neurology Central

The financial toll of career-ending concussions in professional hockey

Aim: Several high-profile professional hockey players have retired due to career-ending concussions sustained in the National Hockey League (NHL). We sought to determine the salary cost of career-ending concussions in the NHL. Methods: Concussion-induced retirements from 1995 to 2015 were identified using public media sources. The number of missed games due to a player’s final concussion was multiplied by per game salary to determine cost. Results: In total, 35 players were identified: the total cost to teams and insurers of career-ending concussions was US$135,476,777. Half of the total consisted of salaries owing three players with contracts still active in 2015. Conclusion: The financial impact of concussion-induced retirements provides another reason for professional leagues to take measures to better protect their players from concussion.
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