The primary purpose of this investigation was to examine the physiological profile of a National Hockey League (NHL) team over a period of 26 years. All measurements were made at a similar time of year (pre-season) in 703 male (mean age +/- SD = 24 +/- 4 y) hockey players. The data were analyzed across years, between positions (defensemen, forwards, and goaltenders), and between what were deemed successful and non-successful years using a combination of points acquired during the season and play-off success. Most anthropometric (height, mass, and BMI) and physiological parameters (absolute and relative VO2 peak, relative peak 5 s power output, abdominal endurance, and combined grip strength) showed a gradual increase over the 26 year period. Defensemen were taller and heavier, had higher absolute VO2 peak, and had greater combined grip strength than forwards and goaltenders. Forwards were younger and had higher values for relative VO2 peak. Goaltenders were shorter, had less body mass, a higher sum of skinfolds, lower VO2 peak, and better flexibility. The overall pre-season fitness profile was not related to team success. In conclusion, this study revealed that the fitness profile for a professional NHL ice-hockey team exhibited increases in player size and anaerobic and aerobic fitness parameters over a 26 year period that differed by position. However, this evolution of physiological profile did not necessarily translate into team success in this particular NHL franchise.
To examine the nature and incidence of injuries suffered by a sample of recreational and old-timer ice hockey players.
Random sample of teams followed prospectively.
Various hockey rinks in the Greater Edmonton Region.
Four hundred and thirty-one subjects--287 adult male recreational (AMRL) and 144 male old-timer (OTL) from five leagues were followed over the 1992-93 hockey season.
Injuries sustained during the duration of a hockey season.
A total of 151 injuries (100 AMRL and 51 OTL) were reported. The aggregate injury rate was 12.2/1000 player-exposures (12.3 AMRL and 12.0 OTL). The anatomic region most often injured by AMRL players was the head/neck/facial area (32%) while OTL players reported a greater proportion of lower extremity injuries (40%). Both groups reported sprains/strains as the most common diagnosis (35% AMRL and 47% OTL). The predominant injury mechanism for AMRL players was stick contact (24%) and for OTL players was puck contact (23%). No significant differences were detected between the anatomic, diagnostic, and mechanistic distributions of injury between AMRL and OTL players. Seventy-five percent of injuries occurred during league games, 10% during playoff games, 5% during tournament games, and 10% during practices. Penalties were assessed in 31% of injury instances. Forty-two percent of head/neck/facial injuries, 32% of upper extremity injuries, 13% of torso injuries, and 15% of lower extremity occurred as a result of penalizable behavior (p = 0.01). Three percent of players wearing full or half face protectors suffered facial injuries while 9% of players not wearing facial protection reported facial injuries (p = 0.03; Relative Risk = 2.56).
The injury rates observed were lower than reported rates for major/elite hockey. The proportion of players injured through body contact was lower than that observed in adult major/elite hockey while the diagnostic and anatomic distribution of injury was similar. Studies such as this are useful in the development of injury prevention strategies.
In order to establish baseline data and to prescribe training programmes to off-set weaknesses, selected measures of aerobic fitness (VO2max), muscular power (peak torque and watt output) and performance times on-ice were collected on the Canadian Olympic Hockey Team (1980). VO2max values (54 ml. kg. min) were similar to other non-endurance athletes. Peak torque values relative to body weight in knee extension at 30 degrees and 180 degrees . s-1 (3.62 an 1.85 Nm . kg-1) were the same at low speed but lower at high speed than other selected power athletes. The on-ice performance times showed higher speed of over 180' than professional and junior level players but the speed drop-off over six repeats was greater. There were no differences between positions on these measures. These data offer a baseline from which to compare other hockey players and suggest that the aerobic fitness levels and torque outputs at high speed are not well developed.