Monday, May 18, 2009

Another inch....

And this could have been reaaaaalllly bad. Take a look below where, during last nights Blackhawks/Red Wings game, Ben Eager's skate blade damn near took Adam Burish's head off. Burish was lucky, to say the least.

Good reason for a playoff beard? How about a good reason for neck guards. Hell USA Hockey doesn't even go as far as to require players to wear neck guards. It's up to the State to decide. There's something wrong with that. At the very least, every youth leagues should have it as a requirement. I grew up in PA, I never played a game of Ice Hockey where a neck guard wasn't required.

When I tried "Googling" to find out if USA Hockey requires neck guards, I literally found nothing of the sorts. You'd think something would show up. A 2008 article from The Hockey News was where I found the stuff about the state making the rules. I found no mention of that in the USA Hockey Rulebook.

Here is the "rule" for goalies from the Official 2007-2009 USA Hockey Rulebook:

c) It is compulsory for all goalkeepers to wear helmets and full
facemasks. Throat/neck protectors are recommended. No
form fitted facemasks shall be permitted.

Uhhhh...neck guards are RECOMMENDED for the position where your sole job is the STOP pucks?? Plus you get run over and stepped on by skates. Excuse my language, but that's just retarded.

I did find a presentation USA Hockey did on Neck Lacerations...guess the presentation wasn't good enough to sway USA Hockey for a rule.

Basically what you'd expect though. The older you get, the less likely you're going to wear a neck guard. Hell, when I was playing in high school, we got away with wearing head bands as neck guards. It was the "cool" thing to do.

We know the NHL will probably never make neck guards required...but is there really that big of a difference between making a helmet required and a neck guard required? For a league that's trying to lessen fighting for "player safety reasons", you'd think they could add a little line that says some sort...any sort of neck protection is required...even to recommend it wouldn't be so bad. It's not like a neck guard impedes you from doing anything on the ice. They just look silly and are really really annoying.

I hate preaching the hypothetical "what if Zednik died" from this...

...but really, what IF he did. Probably wouldn't be posting this. So here's the question we ask to all of you current and former hockey players...and even to those that can't skate...

And just for fun, in a non pick up game of ice-hockey...


Paul said...

I'm not too sure about other states, but the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (or M.A.H.A. for short) requires all amateur players to wear neck and mouth guards.

I remember it was a bitch when I was playing because you couldn't even set blade to ice surface without a neck guard. The refs were all over it.

Paul said...

By the way, Burish must have a four leaf clover stuffed up his ass. He's one lucky bastard.

Vance said...

In PA, like Denson said, you were required to wear one, but what I don't quite the difference between visors and this?

It may not be comfortable, but in the 80's neither were helmets. It just seems like we have another situation where until something truly tragic (not to take away from Zednik's scare), until someone dies on the ice, that there will be a change, which will certainly be a greater headache than Jim Balsillie will ever be.

Fact: BanginPanger is not meant as an insult to the one and only Darren Pang, nor do I claim to be him. The views and opinions presented on BanginPanger are of my own, and no other namesake of the site, the NHL, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, or anyone else.