- Adam Johnson’s death is prompting change across the ice hockey world
- The NHL is holding discussions with the NHLPA to make neck guards mandatory
- Hockey Canada’s current policy makes it mandatory for women and minors to wear neck guards
Ice hockey leagues around the world are now discussing making changes to their existing policy after the tragic death of Adam Johnson. He lost his life over the weekend during a game in the UK after he was kicked in the neck and the skate blade slit his throat.
The English Ice Hockey Association did not waste time in making a decision to make it mandatory for all players to wear neck guards from Jan 2024. Will Hockey Canada also make a similar decision given the fact that it is only mandatory as of now for women and players in the minor league to wear neck guards!
NHL and NHLPA Discuss Neck Guard Policy
The National Hockey League (NHL) and the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) are current having discussions about changing the policy regarding the use of neck guards. Most NHL players don’t like to wear neck guards as some think it hampers their play and effectiveness in the rink while others just don’t think it is cool to wear one.
In a statement, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said
I will say, particularly through the work of Rod Pasma and our hockey operations department, we have been pushing, really pushing hard, cut-resistant materials and guards for use by our players. It is an adjustment for them (but) we are strongly recommending cut-resistant materials for use currently by our players.
Hockey Canada Should Impose Neck Guard Rule
Hockey Canada is yet to make any changes to the neck guard policy for its players. Given the fact that multiple leagues around the world including the NHL is looking at making neck guards mandatory, it is high time that Hockey Canada enforces a neck guard policy for all players.
After Johnson’s freak accident and tragic death, more players are open to wearing neck guards and policies that make changes to player’s equipment. One of those players is Toronto Maple Leaf’s captain John Tavares who said that leagues must do everything possible to make the game more safer for all players as one incident like this is one too many!