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Concussion. 2016 Jul 27;1(4):CNC20. doi: 10.2217/cnc-2016-0008. eCollection 2016 Dec.

The financial toll of career-ending concussions in professional hockey.

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Canadian Sports Concussion Project, Krembil Neuroscience Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto Western Hospital, 399 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON M5T 2S8, Canada.



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.


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.


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.


The financial impact of concussion-induced retirements provides another reason for professional leagues to take measures to better protect their players from concussion.


NHL; concussion; cost; hockey; retirement; salary

Conflict of interest statement

Financial & competing interests disclosure The authors have no relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript. This includes employment, consultancies, honoraria, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, grants or patents received or pending, or royalties. No writing assistance was utilized in the production of this manuscript.

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