Mandatory neck protection in ice hockey: World association reacts to devastating accidental death

Neck protection is mandatory in ice hockey
World association reacts to devastating accidental death

At the end of October, professional ice hockey player Adam Johnson died after cutting his blade. After the DEL, the world association IIHF is now also drawing conclusions: in the future, neck protection will be mandatory. However, this does not apply to all leagues.

After the accidental death of professional Adam Johnson, the world ice hockey association IIHF is introducing mandatory neck protection for all of its competitions such as world championships or Olympic tournaments. The IIHF announced this. It is not yet known when the regulation will come into force and depends on the availability of additional equipment. Neck and neck protection will be mandatory in the German Ice Hockey League (DEL) from January 1, 2024, and the German Ice Hockey Association will introduce the measure from the 2024/25 season.

This regulation is not binding for the North American professional league NHL. There would have to be an agreement between the league and the players’ union. “I would say, I believe that after a certain age everyone is old enough to make their own decisions. I also tried to put it on. During training or before training it was rather difficult for me to move the safety,” said the German NHL professional Tim Stützle from the Ottawa Senators. But of course you also try to be “a role model for the younger kids.”

The accidental death of professional Adam Johnson at the end of October prompted the ice hockey world to act quickly. The American was killed by a cut on his neck from an ice skate blade during a game between his Nottingham Panthers and the Sheffield Steelers at the end of October. The rules were quickly changed. “It is a sad occasion, but the discussion produced a good result,” said DEL managing director Gernot Tripcke.

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