A local hockey rink is approaching safety on the ice

NOW: A local hockey rink is approaching safety on the ice

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The gruesome in-game death of a former NHL player is prompting new talks about hockey safety.

Adam Johnson died, who died on the ice on October 28, was cut on the neck by a hockey blade. 

While these incidents may be rare, there are risks involved.

While hockey in the States does not currently require neck guards, here in South Bend, the Irish Youth Hockey league is requiring them for all participants starting January 1.

Brenden Lambert, the Director of Operations at Ice Box Hockey Rink, is in favor of added protection like neck guards.

“Anything we can do to prevent lacerations to the head or the neck area would be a huge step in the right direction, not just our organization, but organizations around the nation, and overseas,” he said. 

Anne Clifford, the president of the Irish Youth Hockey League says the conversation around neck guards has become more serious following Johnson's death.

According to Clifford, neck guards have been recommended over the years.

Players can readily purchase them online. 

“They make some that are called bibs that will extend a little lower and upper chest, otherwise very similar attachment as in velcroing around the neck and then the third style is the one that is incorporated into the undershirt that has the protection attached to it,” said Clifford.

ABC57 has reached out to the Indiana State High School Hockey Association for their stance on this issue, but has not received any response. 

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