NHL Player Safety
In the sport of hockey in order to play you need to have specific equipment. Some things are obvious like a helmet, gloves, skates, etc. You would think a neck guard would be one of those things, but let me tell you it is not. In the NHL (National Hockey League) it is not mandatory for an NHL player to wear a neck guard. Many people debate about this. NHL players say they should be able to wear what they please. You might be reading this saying, well a player taking a skate to the neck is very rare and they don’t happen often. Yes, maybe they do not happen that often, but when they do they could be deadly.
On February 10, 2008 Florida Panthers player Richard Zednik’s career changed drastically. In the 3rd period of a game against the Buffalo Sabres the unthinkable happened. Richard Zednik was cut open and bleeding severely from his neck. A teammate’s skate came up and sliced his neck open. Zednik was in so much shock. He knew what was happening and he immediately skated towards the bench where the trainer met him. The trainer, as well as many other doctors that night saved his life. Zednik is lucky to be alive after an incident like this. Zednik recovered and did make a return to the NHL. All of this chaos did not even need to happen. If there was a piece of cloth covering Zednik’s neck this incident could have been avoided. Some players in the NHL decide that they want to wear a neck guard. It is great for them, they are now more protected. In my opinion, every single NHL player should have no choice but to have to wear a neck guard.
This is NOT the first time something bad like this has happened. Buffalo Sabres goalie, Clint Malarchuk had his throat cut open. He almost did not live to tell the story. When these type of incidents happen they can be deadly. Luckily both of these players lived.
I have been playing hockey since I was very young and I still play to this day. Hockey can be dangerous at many points. I have always worn a neck guard playing hockey and I will continue to do so for my safety. It is so easy to make sure that these injuries do not happen. The NHL needs to understand that this is serious. In my personal opinion, the NHL needs to make it mandatory to wear neck guards. It is a piece of cloth that covers your neck so that if something were to happen, like a skate slicing your neck open, the neck guard it would stop it. Helmets are a mandatory thing to wear when you play hockey because if you get hit in the head something horrible could happen. In a press conference Richard Zednik says, “You do not get to train for this experience it just happened.” Well, if he had a neck guard this would not have happened. WELL LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING IF YOU GET A SKATE TO THE NECK AND IT SLICES YOU OPEN YOU COULD DIE JUST ASK CLINT MALARCHUK OR RICHARD ZEDNIK. Neck guards need to be made mandatory in the NHL it is as simple as that.