NHL announcers constantly mention it, and I've seen some news articles online referring to players who used to be / are a healthy scratch.

What is a healthy scratch?

I didn't find anything on Google's first two pages on a search, but if I had to guess I think it has to do with injured players who are healthy now.


Good try, but that's not what it means. It means that the player is healthy and eligible to play, but the coach has decided not to use him. Players usually become a healthy scratch after poor performances or as a wake-up call.

  • So basically its getting benched?
    – Fredy31
    Jun 4 '18 at 16:09
  • Not exactly. A healthy scratch won't even be on the bench. The player will be dropped from the list of active for that game
    – alamoot
    Jun 4 '18 at 17:09
  • Yeah, it's even worse than the bench. Benching is you are in uniform, but will stay on the bench; This is you are in your suit in the stands.
    – Fredy31
    Jun 4 '18 at 17:14
  • Yes, it is worse than benching. I don't think the players even bother going to the game as the team has indicated they're not needed for the game. You usually see the injured players in the arena.
    – alamoot
    Jun 4 '18 at 17:27

From Wikipedia article "Glossary of ice hockey terms":

Healthy scratch

An uninjured player on the roster who does not dress for a game. Only 20 players (22 in international competition) are allowed to dress for a game, players who are not going to play are considered scratches.

From Arizona Coyotes article "Advanced Hockey Lingo":

Healthy Scratch: A player who has no injury and is still not dressed for the game.

So, a player with no injury, who is not dressed for the game is considered as a Healthy Scratch.

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