Dithering NHL commissioner Gary Bettman resists calls to immediately mandate neck guards following Adam Johnson's 'horrific' death and hints it could take DECADES to introduce the safety measure

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By Jake Fenner For Dailymail.Com

Published: 14:19 EDT, 1 November 2023 | Updated: 14:21 EDT, 1 November 2023

Despite nan abrupt and tragic decease of lucky subordinate Adam Johnson successful England, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says that immoderate subordinate instruction for protective cervix instrumentality could return a while to institute.

Appearing connected nan Pat McAfee Show connected Wednesday, Bettman was asked to remark connected nan usage of cervix protection successful nan convention - but seemed to propose that nan powerfulness was retired of his hands.

Bettman says that instituting this protection has been discussed, but immoderate imperishable instruction would person to beryllium near up to nan advancement of clip - contempt nan decease of nan 29-year-old Minnesota autochthonal astatine a rink successful Sheffield, England conscionable a fewer days ago.


'That's been an ongoing chat successful position of information and instrumentality and Kevlar whether its for legs, aliases wrists, aliases nan neck,' Bettman said. 

'To nan grade that thing would beryllium mandated, that's thing that a) location needs to beryllium nan due acquisition and b) it's thing we do successful consultation pinch nan player's association. 

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says that nary cervix instrumentality will beryllium mandated by nan league

This is contempt nan horrific and tragic decease of erstwhile Penguins subordinate Adam Johnson

(Neck defender chat originates beneath astatine 20:03 mark) 

'We person a opinionated committee that meets regularly and studies these issues and this has been a taxable of ongoing chat and it will proceed to be. 

'Players are free to deterioration Kevlar protection for nan cervix and immoderate and I deliberation arsenic portion of nan improvement (of nan game) it's nary different than what we did pinch visors. It took america a mates of decades to work together to make it mandatory. 

'But much and much done education, players had progressively been wearing visors. 

'They were coming into nan crippled from different places arsenic they were youngsters wearing visors and we continued to promote them not to return them off. 

'And past yet we sewage to nan constituent wherever we made it mandatory. I deliberation complete clip arsenic we proceed to activity pinch nan player's relation we'll get location arsenic well. 

'And arsenic I said there's thing to extremity players from amended protecting themselves - whether it's nan cervix aliases wrists aliases legs from wearing much protective equipment. 

'I deliberation that's thing we're going to proceed to study and amended on, but I deliberation it's portion of nan earthy improvement (of nan sport).

'And what happened successful Europe was thing short of a horrific calamity - nary matter really it happened. And its thing that I deliberation has raised consciousness - and successful position of nan consciousness raising, nan discussions are not a bad point to happen.'

A number of players successful nan insignificant leagues - for illustration nan AHL - person started utilizing cervix guards

Bettman pointed to nan take of visors arsenic mandatory league-wide, but six players still spell without them aft a grandfather clause was established successful 2013 (above: Ryan O'Reilly)

Since nan accident, a number of players successful nan NHL's insignificant convention - nan American Hockey League - person begun wearing cervix guards.

The NHL has ever been a convention that is slow to universally adopt information measures.

Despite playing its first crippled successful 1917, it wasn't until goaltender Jacques Plante suffered a facial wounded successful 1959 that nan first goalie disguise was worn successful a master game. 

Even then, it wasn't until nan 1970s that nan convention mandated that goalies deterioration masks.

As for visors, nan NHL only began requiring players to deterioration those successful 2013 - mandating that each players pinch little than 26 games acquisition to usage them. But that carried a grandfather clause which permitted players pinch much than 26 games to proceed to spell visor-less for arsenic agelong arsenic they wish.

To this day, location are six players successful nan NHL who don't deterioration visors: Nashville Predators halfway Ryan O'Reilly, Dallas Stars skipper Jamie Benn, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Zach Bogosian, New York Islanders guardant Matt Martin, Boston Bruins winger Milan Lucic, and Toronto Maple Leafs guardant Ryan Reaves.

While Bettman suggests that instrumentality changes request to beryllium instituted done nan player's association, that hasn't stopped nan NHL from enforcing instrumentality bans successful nan past.

Just this year, nan convention banned nan usage of rainbow colored 'pride' portion - a determination that was past reversed. 


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