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Adam Johnson death: Neck guards to be made compulsory in international ice hockey matches | World News


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Neck guards will be compulsory at international level for ice hockey players after Adam Johnson’s death.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) said all its events – including the Olympics, and the men’s and women’s world championships – will now feature the protection for players.

It follows Johnson’s death during a Nottingham Panthers match in October after the 29-year-old was struck in the neck by an ice skate.

A man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in connection with Johnson’s death has been released on bail pending further inquiries.

In a statement, the IIHF said, following a recommendation from its medical committee, it “has decided to mandate the use of a neck laceration protector… at all levels of IIHF competitions”.

Winnipeg Jets' Neal Pionk wears a neck guard
Winnipeg Jets’ Neal Pionk wears a neck guard

The exact date for the IIHF neck guard mandate to go into place is still to be determined, based on the supply of neck guards available.

The federation added: “Until the rule officially goes into effect, the IIHF continues to strongly recommend that neck laceration protectors are worn by all players performing in an IIHF competition.”

In the wake of Johnson’s death, the English Ice Hockey Association said neck guards will become compulsory during “all on-ice activities” from the start of 2024.

Canadian Hockey League leagues has also made neck guards mandatory.

The protective equipment – which wraps around a player’s neck – has not been made mandatory in the Elite Ice Hockey League, of which the Panthers are a member, nor in America’s National Hockey League (NHL).

Cole Koepke - friends with the late ice hockey player Adam Johnson - plays wearing a neck guard
Cole Koepke – a friend of Johnson – has started wearing the equipment

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Syracuse Crunch forward Cole Koepke – a friend of Johnson – has started wearing a neck guard in the wake of the Nottingham Panther’s player.

He told CBS Minnesota: “It doesn’t bother me to wear the neck guard, so I don’t see a reason not to wear it.

“It just seems like the right thing to do.”

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Written by: radioroxi

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