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Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid calls neck protectors a 'private choice'

“We clearly noticed it final 12 months with Evander,” McDavid mentioned. “These cuts are actually scary and I feel you are seeing loads of cut-proof gear coming into play”

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Concern, to make sure, however nowhere close to panic.

That’s the message out of the Edmonton Oilers dressing room this week following the tragic accident that led to the on-ice loss of life of Adam Johnson throughout a Nottingham Panthers sport in England on Saturday.

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The 29-year-old former Pittsburgh Penguins participant’s neck was sliced by the errant skate of opposing participant Matt Petgrave. Johnson was transported to hospital the place he succumbed to his harm, prompting debate throughout the hockey world over the usage of neck guards.

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The English Ice Hockey Affiliation is strongly recommending gamers in any respect ranges use a neck guard or protector throughout all on-ice actions. As of Jan. 1, 2024, it should grow to be necessary within the league.

Nearer to residence, the Western Hockey League introduced Wednesday that neck guard safety can be necessary as of Friday.

The NHL can also be “strongly recommending” the identical.

“Effectively, before everything, we’re serious about Adam’s household and all of his family members,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid mentioned. “Such a tragic incident, however the sport is so quick on the market, the sport is unpredictable at instances and irrespective of how good or well-prepared or what number of years you’ve been enjoying the sport, random issues occur.”

Because the Oilers noticed a season in the past, when Evander Kane was pressured to overlook greater than two months after emergency surgical procedure was required to restore his wrist, which was minimize open by the skate of Tampa Bay Lightning ahead Patrick Maroon.

“We clearly noticed it final 12 months with Evander,” McDavid mentioned. “These cuts are actually scary and I feel you’re seeing loads of cut-proof gear coming into play.

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“Whether or not or not you see one thing across the neck, I don’t know. However actually scary.”

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The Oilers have three gamers from Sweden on their group, whose residence nation had already instituted necessary neck guards following the 1995 loss of life of 28-year-old Bengt Akerblom of the Swedish Elite League.

“I do know after Evander’s incident, I used to be speaking to our medical employees and so they’re ready to deal with nearly each state of affairs on the ice,” McDavid mentioned. “We put loads of religion in these guys and know that they will deal with absolutely anything.”

Whereas cut-resistant socks and sleeves are gaining recognition, they exchange items of kit already worn by gamers. Neck guards will be seen as further bulk that may gradual a participant down.

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“Clearly, consolation is necessary,” McDavid mentioned. “But it surely’s additionally comfy to know that you simply’re protected. That may deliver an enormous consolation to guys.”

On the similar time, McDavid isn’t calling for laceration protectors, whether or not or not it’s on the neck, wrists or ankles, to grow to be a league-wide mandate within the NHL simply but.

“I feel it’s private choice for everyone,” he mentioned. “I see plenty of guys have cut-proof stuff, I see some guys who don’t put on a lot in any respect. It’s all selection.

“With that being mentioned, I feel it’s a very quick sport, these items occur however I do know that our employees and everyone is well-equipped to deal with just about all conditions.”

E-mail: [email protected]

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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