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To Disclose or Not To Disclose - The NHL Injury Disclosure Policy Examined

Admin Icon The NHL has come under some criticism for returning to its policy of not requiring teams to disclose player injuries. An article on espn.com discusses the argument at length.

The main reason for not disclosing specific injuries is the position that if the opposition knows what’s ailing a player they will make that player a target. The article sites the 2007-2008 season experiment with disclosing injuries and the resulting targeting of Johan Franzen during the playoffs.

The NFL has a full disclosure rule and one would assume their players would be just as vested in targeting as someone in the NHL. Ron Wilson says the NFL’s full disclosure policy is due to pressure from Las Vegas. At first I wasn’t sure how much weight I would give that accusation, but if the NFL did not disclose injuries a lot of gamblers would pay a lot of money to get injury information out of an NFL locker room. That dynamic could lead to some serious corruption issues. Point taken

As for Fantasy fans wanting full disclosure – too bad.

I think setting policy based on what is the best way to protect players is the responsible thing to do. At the end of the day the game is best served when the game is decided by the best players in the game and not by the best players left standing. It’s sad that players would intentionally target another player’s injury but in today’s modern NHL, where money is tied to winning and the amount money is growing, it seems like a logical paradigm shift. The only downside is when a player with an undisclosed injury plays below expectations he may have to take a lot of criticism from the fans and the press. I suppose a bruised ego always heals whereas the body sometimes never recovers.

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