Blood Money: Violence for Hire in the National Hockey League
Forthcoming in the International Journal of Sport Finance
46 Pages Posted: 19 May 2015
Date Written: May 18, 2015
Fans have long been attracted to the violence of professional hockey and the positive relationship between attendance and violent incidents has led to its being characterized as a “blood sport.” This paper assesses how NHL salaries reward not only skilled players but also “enforcers” whose value is driven more by fighting ability. We find evidence that the factors determining the salaries of these two player types differ significantly. Enforcers are seen to be valued more for their defensive contributions and only for the enforcer group is there any evidence that penalty minutes have a positive effect on earnings.
Keywords: Hockey; violence; salary determination; NHL; fighting
JEL Classification: J40; J30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation