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English Ice Hockey Makes Neck Guards Mandatory After Death Of US Player – News18

Last Updated: October 31, 2023, 01:00 IST

SHEFFIELD, England: Ice hockey players in England will be required to wear neck guards from the start of 2024 following the death of American player Adam Johnson in a game.

Johnson’s neck was cut by a skate blade on Saturday.

The English Ice Hockey Association, which governs ice hockey in England below the Elite League, announced measures on Monday to improve player safety.

Neck guards will be mandatory from Jan. 1 for all on-ice activities. The EIHA said it was its “strong recommendation” that all players start wearing a neck guard, effective immediately. The body added neck guards would not be mandatory immediately because of anticipated supply issues.

“It is unacceptable for any player to lose their life while playing sport,” the EIHA said. “Our responsibility is not only to avert the recurrence of such a heartbreaking accident, but also to pre-emptively address other foreseeable incidents in the future.”

Players in the U.K. are allowed to play without neck guards after they turn 18.

The 29-year-old Johnson was playing for the Nottingham Panthers against the Sheffield Steelers when he suffered the skate cut in a Champions Cup game. He was a Minnesota native who appeared in 13 NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2019 and 2020.

Within 12 months, the EIHA said it would conduct a “thorough” review of player safety equipment “including, but not limited to, the use of helmets, mouthguards/gumshields and facial protection.”

All clubs will have to demonstrate they “proactively manage player safety.”

The body said its actions aligned with Ice Hockey UK and Scottish Ice Hockey.

“We are firmly committed to our obligation to exhaust every possible means to ensure that a tragic incident of this nature never befalls our sport again,” the EIHA said.

“Undoubtedly, this moment in time casts a somber shadow upon our global sporting community, serving as a stark reminder of our collective responsibilities as custodians of the sport. As in all sports, the safety of our players must take precedence above all else.”


AP sports:

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Associated Press)

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