Eye injuries in the National Hockey League from 2010 to 2018: an analysis of injury rates, mechanisms, and the National Hockey League visor policy

Published:September 10, 2020DOI:



      We aim to assess the efficacy of widespread visor adoption by assessing eye injury rates during the 2010–2018 seasons. We also compare injury rates, missed games, and financial losses to previously reported data in order to track progress over time. Lastly, we characterize the mechanism and type of eye injuries sustained by National Hockey League (NHL) players to examine risk areas within NHL games.


      We performed a retrospective review of NHL player injuries using official NHL team reports, ProSportsTransactions, and TSN Sports.


      All NHL players who suffered an eye injury from 2010 to 2018 were included; 31 injuries matched this criterion.


      Trends in injuries, missed games, and financial losses over time were analyzed using Pearson's correlation coefficients. Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney tests were performed to compare our data with eye injury data. Fisher's exact test was performed to assess significance between mechanism and type of eye injury and outcome.


      There were 31 total eye injuries causing 233 missed games and a total of US$8 951 000 in financial losses across the 2010–2018 seasons. There was a strong decrease in the number of eye injuries (r = −0.83, p = 0.01) and a moderate decrease in number of missed games (r = −0.62, p = 0.09). Injuries due to direct puck strikes contributed to over US$6.5 million in financial losses and led to significantly more missed games compared with stick injuries (14.6 vs 4.3).


      We tangibly demonstrate the financial and physical effects of recent safety interventions and indicate areas for improved safety in the NHL.



      Nous souhaitions évaluer l'efficacité de l'utilisation à grande échelle d'une visière en déterminant le taux de blessures oculaires pendant les saisons 2010–2018. Nous avons également comparé les taux de blessures, de parties manquées et de pertes financières, comparativement aux données antérieures, afin de mesurer l’évolution de la situation au fil du temps. Enfin, nous avons entrepris de décrire le type de lésions oculaires et le mécanisme à l'origine de ces lésions chez des joueurs de la Ligue nationale de hockey (LNH) afin de cerner les zones à risque lors des parties de la LNH.


      Nous avons procédé à une revue de synthèse rétrospective des blessures subies par des joueurs de la LNH à partir des rapports d’équipes officiels de la LNH, des archives Pro Sports Transactions et de la chaîne TSN Sports.


      Tous les joueurs de la LNH qui ont subi une blessure oculaire entre 2010 et 2018 ont été inclus; de ce nombre, 31 blessures répondaient à notre critère.


      On a utilisé les coefficients de corrélation de Pearson pour analyser les tendances en matière de blessures, de parties manquées et de pertes financières au fil du temps. Les tests de Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney ont servi à comparer nos données et les données sur les blessures oculaires. Enfin, le test exact de Fisher a permis d’évaluer le lien entre le mécanisme à l'origine des blessures oculaires et le type de lésions, d'une part, et les conséquences de ces lésions, d'autre part.


      Il s'est produit 31 blessures oculaires qui ont entraîné 233 parties manquées et des pertes financières totales de 8 951 000 US$ pour les saisons 2010–2018. On a enregistré une baisse notable du nombre de blessures oculaires (r = −0,83; p = 0,01) et une diminution modérée du nombre de parties manquées (r = −0,62; p = 0,09). Les blessures causées par un impact direct de la rondelle ont été responsables de pertes financières de plus de 6,5 millions de $US et ont entraîné significativement plus de parties manquées que les blessures par bâton de hockey (14,6 vs 4,3).


      Nous avons pu démontrer de façon tangible les effets physiques et financiers des interventions récentes en matière de sécurité et avons cerné des zones d'amélioration de la sécurité au sein de la LNH.
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