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Does Bigger Ice Equal Less Concussions?

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

In an effort to cut down on concussions, many have trotted out the age-old idea of widening the rink to give guys more room on international-sized ice.

It’s a non-starter with NHL executives.

One exec estimated it would cost upwards of US$12 million to retrofit his rink — a cost every team in the league would have to swallow to varying degrees. That doesn’t include the lost revenue in premium rink-side seats you’d lose.

Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford says the cost might actually be worth it, but there’s no proof international-sized ice would help reduce concussions because the European leagues don’t sport as good or as fast of hockey as the NHL.

In fact, while it would give more room for players to avoid contact, some think an argument could be made that it would allow for more speed, producing even more violent collisions.

read on for a look at Darryl Sutter…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink



4 on 4 would create more space for players. I wonder if the NHL has numbers on percentage of head injuries occurring at even strength vs 4 on 4 situations.

4 on 4 would also unclog the neutral zone and reduce the need for dump and chase hockey (which would lead to fewer d-men getting blown up in the corners).

Posted by bd on 12/18/11 at 01:28 PM ET

Primis's avatar


A larger ice surface would result in less violence.

For a couple of years until the players and coaches figured out tricks and new ways to maintain the violence.

Asking for a larger ice surface is a very short-sighted approach.

Posted by Primis on 12/18/11 at 07:13 PM ET

UMFan's avatar

That doesn’t include the lost revenue in premium rink-side seats you’d lose.

Nonsense. Premium rink-side seats wouldn’t be lost. The first few rows next to the ice will still exist. Its the last rows of the lower bowl that will be lost. But a lot of that lost revenue would likely be made up by increases in ticket prices due to the changes in the supply curve.

I agree with Primis. It might work in the short time, but players would adapt to the new dimentions and we would be back to square one. I don’t know if you could coach those types of dangerious hits out of the game as it is part of game strategy now. Maybe you could put something on the skates to restrict the speed of the players. Sort of like what NASCAR does with some of its races.

Posted by UMFan from Denver, Colorado on 12/19/11 at 01:04 AM ET


Part of this is considered “common knowledge” but is actually incorrect, logically.  No “premium rink-side seats” will be lost at all.  By moving the boards and glass back, you will lose seats, but there will always be rink-side seats.  You will, however, lose the last rows of seats on the lower levels of arenas.  Think about it.

Posted by Mike Hamer from Phila, PA, USA on 12/19/11 at 11:16 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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