Study: Hits only account for one-third of injuries at youth level of hockey

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suttonhits.jpgWhile one can assume that things might be different at higher levels of the sport, the Montreal Gazette published notes on a study that concluded that hits produce only 34 percent of injuries at the youth level of hockey. The remaining 66 percent happen thanks to players getting hit by pucks, colliding into teammates or other on-ice accidents.

Accidents are more commonly to blame for on-ice amateur-hockey injuries than bodychecking, suggests a study recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The findings were based on a five-year study of 3,000 boys age 4 to 18 in a youth hockey program in Burlington, Ont.

It found that 66 per cent of overall injuries were the result of such accidents as colliding with teammates, sliding into the boards or posts or getting hit with the puck. The remaining 34 per cent of injuries were attributed to players checking each other.

The researchers, from the University of Buffalo, took into account only injuries serious enough to cause players to be off the ice for at least 24 hours.

The report took into account three levels of hockey, including one that didn’t allow body checking.

Researchers suggested that coaches teach players to keep their heads up (sorry Eric Lindros). Hockey Canada’s Todd Jackson responded to the study, saying that injuries will always happen but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the number of problems.

“A big part of preventing injuries is how the game is played,” he said. “There needs to be a rules and respect factor by both players, coaches, everyone involved -even the parents.”

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.