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Neck guards now mandatory in international hockey

Nov 25, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Tyler Bertuzzi (59) moves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Neck guards are now required for all international hockey competition following this fall’s tragic death of former NHL player Adam Johnson in England.

The International Ice Hockey Federation Council, on a recommendation from its medical committee, decided on Monday to mandate the use of neck laceration protectors at all levels of IIHF competitions.

The IIHF oversees the Winter Olympics, the IIHF World Championship and the U-20 and U-18 IIHF World Championship for men’s ice hockey, and the Winter Olympics, IIHF Women’s World Championship and U-18 IIHF Women’s World Championship for women’s hockey.

The protective equipment already was mandatory at the U-20 and U-18 levels.

The exact date the mandate will go into effect for the senior events will be based on the supply of equipment, the IIHF said in a statement on Monday.

Johnson, 29, died on Oct. 28 after his neck was cut by an opposing player’s skate blade during an on-ice collision.

More and more NHL players, including Tyler Bertuzzi of the Toronto Maple Leafs, have begun wearing the guards on a voluntary basis.

–Field Level Media

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