There has been little quantifiable evidence about the power and potential damage of punches thrown in hockey fights. Blaine Hoshizaki is one of the world’s leading concussion experts, and was recently asked to reproduce the speed and power of NHL punches and the potential damage they can cause. Hoshizaki directs the University of Ottawa’s Neurotrauma Science Impact Lab, which recreates the most dangerous hits in sport to better understand concussions.
The scientific evidence is startling.
If a player absorbs a punch to the jaw by a skilled fighter, he is likely to suffer a concussion and can expect up to 900 pounds of pressure from the impact. As well, Hoshizaki’s research determines that there’s a good chance the punch would result in a different kind of concussion than one receive from a traditional headshot. The university lab gained international exposure for its reconstruction of the two hits Sidney Crosby experienced within five days in January that left the...