Due to better conditioning and to the influence of European players, the average game speed of an NHL(National Hockey League) skater has increased in the past decade. Since kinetic energy is proportional to the square of velocity, the likelihood of severe brain injuries from collisions at higher skating speeds does not increase in a linear fashion. If someone is driven head first into the boards with 10% more speed, then he will be smashing into the boards with (1+0.10)2
= 1.21 times or 21% more energy.Expectedly, a variety of athletes have experienced severe concussions in recent years, but the league has been indifferent to their predictable misfortunes. Part of the solution would be to sacrifice seats for the safety of the players and thereby increase the skating surface, reducing the probability of a collision. In plain English, comply with international standards and make the rink bigger.
And instead of accepting goon actions and sweeping the lives of their players under the rug, the NHL would also have to severely suspend players who deliberately injure others—I mean isn’t this what all other professional leagues and non-barbaric cultures do?
But the league loves to cater to the loud minority who will cheer every hit and fight until they are silenced not by blood but only by a player who is totally immobilized on the ice . Then they wonder why Americans will not warm up to the game, why so many franchises cannot fill their arenas.
Finally a company(Air Canada)threatened to withdraw their sponsorship. Hopefully money will talk some sense into a league that knows no physics and lacks basic morals.