NHL Injuries: The Undisclosed Mystery

Lisa BoychukSenior Analyst IDecember 4, 2008


The NHL's post-season is famous for two things. 

One, the playoff beards.  Even those who are not fans of hockey know this is part of the ritual. 

The second, a typical standard for any hockey team, is hiding the injuries.

Unfortunately for us fans, the traditional ways of the latter has been lost this season.  It used to be fun and rather amusing to hear of undisclosed injuries. Now, however, it has turned into rather annoying.

When the playoffs roll around again in four months down the road and we hear of "upper body injuries" or "lower body injuries," the only thoughts in our minds will be "Okay, I'm bored, next topic please."

The excuse given by NHL coaches is the belief that as soon as all players have knowledge of an injury, via intense media coverage, they will target.  Targeting is of course when a player attacks the injured individual by trying to literally hit them where it hurts.

At the rate things are going, people could start taking bets on the specifics.  If it's "upper body" is it the head, shoulder, or wrist?  If it's "lower body" is it the groin, back, leg, knee, or ankle?  It really is becoming a guessing game.

This makes it quite difficult for the fans in hockey pools.  Is it a recurring injury and how severe?  Without proper answers to these questions, poolers cannot trust holding onto a player, yet may also regret trading them off.

In my opinion, the coaches are simply doing this to draw attention away from their team.  This isn't about targeting, It's about protecting their players from excruciating amounts of media.

Whatever the reason, I can only hope one of these seasons things change back to the way we like it, saving the mystery of an injury for the playoffs when it really does mean something.