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Do big players get injured less often?

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Old
11-16-2011, 12:07 AM
  #51
Ohashi_Jouzu
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
Again, you suppose it's because of durability. It's an assumption. IMO, like I said before, the true tangent is more related to reach and overcoming size, than durability. Also, you are contradicting yourself. We're not talking of only 5'7 players here, but players who are closer to 6, but under league average, and you said they are more likely to get concussions because they are at shoulder height. Yet guys like Gio and Cammy and DD have a very small history of CCs, if none at all. Guys like Bergy in TB, and MSL, and many others have not had this type of injury. It has NOTHING to do with height.

Don't worry, I'm fully aware of the smaller number causing a smaller yeild, the problem is you don't seem to realize that among the 5'6 / 5'9 range, there seems to be less cases on average. The only notable I can think of is Bouillon, and he's probably the most massive (built) of them all and theoretically, would be more likely to fend off most hits compared to his smaller player counterparts, and he even has a tendency to 'jump' a bit in the air when giving or receiving a hit.
Smaller players avoid areas/situations that may result in these kinds of injuries than bigger players maybe, because they're well aware of the risks to which their smaller frame makes them more susceptible than the "average" or above player? There are myriad possible explanations, but I really can't believe that anyone would deny the correlation between size and durability within the constraints of pro athletes in a body contact sport.

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11-16-2011, 12:14 AM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
No, it's not just a theory. We know of countless smaller players who never got their chance in the NHL (or even got drafted in the first place) despite their incredible level of talent, and if you deny that a major factor was GMs' concern over their durability and physical suitability in NHL play, you're deluding yourself.
It has a lot more to do with the latter than the former. I never said it wasn't a factor, just that the latter is actually the bigger factor. Reach is very important in hockey, as is mass and height to overcome adversaries. Smaller players nowadays will train a lot and bulk up, so durability isn't an issue with most of them.

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Backing up, yes, I am kind of "relying" on height a bit much. But like you bring up with cranium size vs actual body size, while there's not an actual 100% direct correlation between height and contribution to momentum/damage dealing potential, the range of body types in pro hockey is limited enough to work under the premise that in general taller players weigh more (on top of having their heads further away from likely areas of contact, re: concussions),
I kinda disagree with that, as all players lean when carrying the puck, and is why you will find, even in the older eras, more taller players getting CCs. Bigger players are also bigger targets when they lean, whereas smaller players have a tendency to fend it off easier.

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and we accept that there are freaks like Douglas Murray who bend the "definition" to one side or the other. We should also understand that with larger size usually comes a significant amount of extra muscle mass, hence why a slash from Zdeno Chara doesn't deal the same amount of damage as a slash from Nathan Gerbe. Furthermore, with extra muscle mass and perhaps bone structure that generally comes with extra height (there aren't too many Dikembe Mutombo-type body types in the NHL, lol), the ability to deal with slashes from Chara (or Gerbe, I suppose) increases.
But at the same time, they deal with different types of injuries, more prevelant to taller/bigger players, as I said before. No matter the size, ligaments have a treshold, and are most likely to tear with bigger players because of the load. You also disregard the fact that smaller players have more a tendency to scurry off a hit, moreso than bigger players who will instead take the brunt of it. Groin injuries also seem more prevelant with taller players.

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So, I think there's more than enough logical premise to work with if one were to suggest that bigger players are more durable and less susceptible to injury than smaller players in the NHL.
only because you are disregarding other logical premises related to the differences in style of play, and also the difference in types of injuries.

Calling it a night

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11-16-2011, 12:18 AM
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Smaller players avoid areas/situations that may result in these kinds of injuries than bigger players maybe, because they're well aware of the risks to which their smaller frame makes them more susceptible than the "average" or above player? There are myriad possible explanations, but I really can't believe that anyone would deny the correlation between size and durability within the constraints of pro athletes in a body contact sport.
The question was, do they get injured less often...

Not if bigger is tougher. I'm not denying anything about that, don't put words into my mouth.


EDIT: Bigger bones doesn't mean they are harder to break, it depends on their structure. I've played a lot of sports in my like, skateboarded a long time, played basketball a long time, hockey too. Never got a bone break, and had multiple times where I thought it should've happened, and I'm 5'11 and don't have a big mass. One of my best buds, played as much as me, except for skateboarding, and he got several fractures in his playing time and he has bigger mass (not fat). Have another friend, smaller, and he too never got a bone break, and played more than both of us. Bigger bones can be weaker than smaller bones, and the bigger the mass, the more likely the load will play a significant part in injuries. Same for ligament tears.


Last edited by Ozymandias: 11-16-2011 at 12:30 AM.
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Old
11-16-2011, 12:42 AM
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
The question was, do they get injured less often...

Not if bigger is tougher. I'm not denying anything about that, don't put words into my mouth.


EDIT: Bigger bones doesn't mean they are harder to break, it depends on their structure. I've played a lot of sports in my like, skateboarded a long time, played basketball a long time, hockey too. Never got a bone break, and had multiple times where I thought it should've happened, and I'm 5'11 and don't have a big mass. One of my best buds, played as much as me, except for skateboarding, and he got several fractures in his playing time and he has bigger mass (not fat). Have another friend, smaller, and he too never got a bone break, and played more than both of us. Bigger bones can be weaker than smaller bones, and the bigger the mass, the more likely the load will play a significant part in injuries. Same for ligament tears.
That's how it was worded, but obviously the intended question is "are they less susceptible/prone to injury?" Frequency is obviously an erroneous tangent, given the proportions and the styles that smaller players often play because of their physical disadvantages. The smaller guys who ultimately "make it" for any appreciably long time in the league are the Fleury's and St.Louis who aren't exactly representative of the greater whole and the percentage of which never get a chance because of concerns over their size. And while you maintain that there's some kind of substantial difference between durability and physical preparedness/readiness, I think they're much more closely entwined in the minds of the guys who ultimately make the selections/decisions, and I'll leave it at that. I never put any words in your mouth from what I can see, btw.

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11-16-2011, 01:32 AM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Megaforce View Post
Just an anecdotal observation of which I have no real solid proof : big players seem to spend a lot less time on the injury reserve list, (with the old exception I suppose of the Lindros brothers) than their more diminutive counterparts.

Guys like Gill, Byfuglien, Chara, Pronger seem to have spent a lot less time injured than the many smaller guys.

I suppose they take fewer head shots cuz they are taller and maybe less reckless collisions because they are slower.

Logically this is another argument for big players. Anybody with data that would either support or refute this notion?
Actually Pronger was often injured this past years. A guy like Penner is a soft dude, and in the past guys like Daze/lindros were more on the table of an hospital than on the ice.

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11-16-2011, 02:45 AM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Very true. But that still isn't going to change my understanding of why there are many, many fewer players under 5'10" in the league than there are over 6'3". There is a certain point at the lower end where small size DOES = injury susceptibility, and the same really can't be said that the other end of the spectrum (for the biggest of talented hockey players). If there wasn't, we'd never here GMs discuss the physical readiness/development of prospects when entering the league. In fact, we hear such things from GMs all the time. Also, using an example nearer and dearer to our hearts, how many people around here chose to emphasize Halak's size in the context of his future durability in the Price vs Halak debate(s), hmm? I trust you weren't one of them.
That is not the reason at all. Smaller players usually lack the physical strength of bigger players. Reach also has a lot to do with it. Unless the player has a documented history of injury there is no reason for a GM to believe the smaller player is injury prone simply because he is small. That's rubbish. The smaller player usually has to compensate with greater speed and skating ability and greater agility to make it or have a combined natural skill and greater physical conditioning to win the battle along the boards. Hockey smarts of the player also is a factor. As I've stated a while back in this thread, muscle mass and bone density play major roles in injuries. Muscles protect your bones from becoming brittle and reduce your chance of osteoperosis (degenerative bone disease or cancer of the bones). Some players are gifted genetically with predetermined bone density and muscle mass. It is fair to say that a tall player can have brittle bones and, conversely, a smaller player having greater bone density. Bone fractures/breaks are not at all determined by the size of the player. As for ligament damage/injuries, all players wear skates. Skates and the intense act of skating causes intense strain on the knees and ankles. If anything, taller/bigger players have more weight bearing on their joints with greater susceptibility to injury of this category. Smaller player tend to have a lower center of gravity and less weight bearing on joints. So, now we have two other major categories of injuries (that aren't concussions) that are not selective of height or weight. Genetics is more a factor than anything as well as physical conditioning in determining both muscle mass and bone density. Tie Domi, Marc Recchi, Theo Fleury all had low centre of gravity and were very sturdy players yet they were "smaller". Low centre of gravity can mean a stable, stronger core which can equate to stronger skating stance and your musculoskeletal system less prone to injury from contact or falls. It holds together under stress better. In the end does size really matter when you're tripped by a big player or a small player and a knee or back injury results? Is the player who receives the trip more likely to be injured from the trip if he's bigger or smaller? If a player races for the puck and collides with the boards awkwardly and breaks his arm or leg does it matter how big or small he is? The answer is "No". Not sure how you can't see that.


Last edited by LesHabsRock: 11-16-2011 at 02:50 AM.
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11-16-2011, 04:25 AM
  #57
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Originally Posted by LesHabsRock View Post
That is not the reason at all. Smaller players usually lack the physical strength of bigger players. [...]
Very nice post.

Question for you: I follow your logic entirely, but given that hockey is a high intensity sport where collisions do occur, intentional or otherwise, wouldn't a smaller player feel the brunt of those collisions more? Say, for example, two players of similar bone density and overall 'thickness', one standing 5'9 and the other 6'2 (with weight differences reflecting their similar bone density/thickness and very different heights). Wouldn't the 5'9 player get the worst of that collision more times than not? Doesn't it stand to reason, then, that smaller players have a greater incidence for injury in more physical affairs?

On the flip side, as you alluded to, smaller players would likely use their speed or slip out of such collisions as often as possible, whereas larger players may be more inclined to try and 'impose their will' and engage in more physical contact, thus upping the latter's injury incidence.

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11-16-2011, 05:14 AM
  #58
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I would say no, style of play I would argue contributes to injuries more so than size, guys like Forsberg were injured constantly because they played an aggressive game.

Gretzky was small and was barely injured in his 1st half of his career, his elite hockey sense, and mobility kept him from being injured, nothing else.

When his career went on and he slowed somewhat then injuries became normal for him.

Then you have guys like Cammy, who seem to get injured on relatively harmless plays semi often, not sure it's a size thing though. Size is generally tougher to play against though, winning puck battles is often harder against someone 6'3 220lbs than it is against someone 5"8 like gionta, gionta fights his butt off, but just being smaller puts him at a huge disadvantage.

Adding guys like Patches/Cole for entire season will not only increase scoring 5 vs 5, but should allow for the smaller guys like plekanecs (hardly ever injured BTW) to play their game more effectively.

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11-16-2011, 08:23 AM
  #59
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Originally Posted by habsjunkie2 View Post
I would say no, style of play I would argue contributes to injuries more so than size, guys like Forsberg were injured constantly because they played an aggressive game.

Gretzky was small and was barely injured in his 1st half of his career, his elite hockey sense, and mobility kept him from being injured, nothing else.

When his career went on and he slowed somewhat then injuries became normal for him.

Then you have guys like Cammy, who seem to get injured on relatively harmless plays semi often, not sure it's a size thing though. Size is generally tougher to play against though, winning puck battles is often harder against someone 6'3 220lbs than it is against someone 5"8 like gionta, gionta fights his butt off, but just being smaller puts him at a huge disadvantage.

Adding guys like Patches/Cole for entire season will not only increase scoring 5 vs 5, but should allow for the smaller guys like plekanecs (hardly ever injured BTW) to play their game more effectively.
I agree with the bold.

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11-16-2011, 10:35 AM
  #60
Ohashi_Jouzu
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Originally Posted by Andy View Post
I agree with the bold.
As do I, fwiw.

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11-16-2011, 11:24 AM
  #61
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
Very nice post.

Question for you: I follow your logic entirely, but given that hockey is a high intensity sport where collisions do occur, intentional or otherwise, wouldn't a smaller player feel the brunt of those collisions more? Say, for example, two players of similar bone density and overall 'thickness', one standing 5'9 and the other 6'2 (with weight differences reflecting their similar bone density/thickness and very different heights). Wouldn't the 5'9 player get the worst of that collision more times than not? Doesn't it stand to reason, then, that smaller players have a greater incidence for injury in more physical affairs?

On the flip side, as you alluded to, smaller players would likely use their speed or slip out of such collisions as often as possible, whereas larger players may be more inclined to try and 'impose their will' and engage in more physical contact, thus upping the latter's injury incidence.
I don't believe that's the case. If they both have similar bone densities and muscle mass with height being the only difference it would be fair to say the taller play would stand to break or fracture their bones more due to length of the bone itself. For example, you have two sticks; one stick is 6 inches long and the other is 12 inches. Both sticks have similar density. Which stick would you find easier to break?

I've seen smaller players take hits from and involved in battles along the boards numerous times and they just skate away like it was nothing. Brian Gionta, Martin St. Louis, Brad Marchand, etc. I think if you look at small players in the league they aren't really small at all. They may be short, but they are not fragile. I think that's the big misconception is that 'small' is mistaken for being 'fragile'. There are big players who are fragile and small players who are tough/solid/unbreakable. Saku Koivu was 'small', but played an aggressive game on the boards. Yes, he was injury prone, but it wasn't because of collisions with bigger players. Koivu had knee problems that sidelined him with knee surgeries (on both knees). He was also out with cancer and a high stick to the eye. These are events that occurred and had nothing to do with his size. Bigger players don't have stronger eyeballs or stronger ligaments in their knees. Nor do they have more tolerance to cancer. As I said, wearing skates and skating is not easy on the ankles and knees. If anything the player who weighs more will create more stress on these areas with greater likelihood of injury.

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