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Neck guards will be compulsory at ALL international hockey...
NECK guards are set to be compulsory at all professional international hockey games after Adam Johnson’s tragic death.
The Nottingham Panthers forward, 29, died after he was struck by an ice skate in a horror collision with an opposition player in October.Getty Images - GettyAdam Johnson in action for the Pittsburgh Penguins while playing in the NHL[/caption] GettyNeck guards will become compulsory from 2024 because of the tragedy[/caption]
Johnson suffered a fatal gash to the neck in the collision at the Utilita Arena on October 28, before he died of his injuries hours later.
The English Ice Hockey Association announced within days of Johnson’s accident at the end of October that neck guards will become compulsory during “all on-ice activities” from the start of 2024.
Neck guards are not yet compulsory in professional leagues including the NHL.
And the IIHF is yet to announce a start date for its new ruling, given delays in procuring the required equipment.
But they will now be required to be worn at events including the Olympics and the men’s and women’s world championships.
An IIHF statement read: “The IIHF Council, on recommendation from its Medical Committee, has decided to mandate the use of a neck laceration protector, specifically designed for this purpose, at all levels of IIHF competitions.
“The exact date this mandate will go into effect for the senior categories will be determined by the supply situation.
“The IIHF remains in close contact with its suppliers to ensure they are able to respond to the current high demand.
“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.”
A man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in connection with Johnson’s death was released on bail pending further inquiries.
Johnson’s family spoke out after the arrest last month.
Reacting to the news from her home in Kelly Lake, Minnesota, in the US, Adam’s grieving aunt Kari Johnson said: “We’re just going to have to let it play out and see what happens.
“Whatever they’d decided, I would have had to live with it.
“But I’m just glad they are being diligent with doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”
The Panthers were playing against the Sheffield Steelers when the collision took place in the 35th minute of the game.
Johnson immediately fell to the floor, before being helped towards the side of the rink by a referee and teammate.
However, he collapsed a few paces later and received emergency medical treatment on the ice.
Teammates created a ring around him to provide privacy as paramedics worked on the ice, before he was rushed to hospital.
But Johnson died of his injuries hours later, the Panthers confirmed in a club statement.
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