Hockey: What Risks Do We Accept?

In the News

Hockey fans were shocked to see the collision between the Canadiens’ Corey Perry and the Maple Leafs’ John Tavares. Perry’s knee struck Tavares’ head violently, sending him to the hospital. When you play hockey, what risks do you have to accept?

Accepting normal risks…

Sports like hockey or skiing involve certain risks, such as falls that can lead to serious injuries.

When you participate in these activities, the law says that you accept the normal and foreseeable risks that are involved in that activity.

For example, by playing professional hockey, you accept the possibility of being bodychecked because it’s part of the game.  

This means that, if there’s an accident, you will not normally be compensated if you are injured.

…but not all risks

That said, you are only accepting the normal risks that are associated with the sport. For example, if you play hockey, you understand that there’s a chance that you may fall.  

However, that doesn’t mean you accept the risks of things that are against the rules, such as getting punched in the face.

In 2016, a hockey player became quadriplegic after being hit from behind. He received $8 million in compensation from the other player for his injuries. This is because hitting from behind is against the rules.

The judge concluded that the injuries were the fault of the opposing player and were not due to the normal risks involved in playing hockey.