Protective Gear And NHL

The NHL should force their players to wear protective gear. Three reasons why
protective gear should be worn are: one, it would prevent physical injuries;
two, the players would set a good example for the future generations; three, it
would take away from the negative aspects of the game. Protective gear helps a
somewhat violent game remain as clean as possible. Wearing protective gear would
prevent physical injuries in hockey. There were many hockey players who have
worked hard all of their lives to become professional hockey superstars and when
they finally got to the NHL, they become injured and were forced to watch the
game instead of playing in it. An example of this is Brett Lindros. At the age
of sixteen, the New York Islanders drafted Brett in the first round of the entry
draft. He played his first NHL game against the Buffalo Sabers when he was
eighteen years old. One year later, on February ninth, his whole life came
crashing down on him. His lifelong dream to win a Stanley Cup had come to an
end. He was hit with a thundering bodycheck into the boards and was knocked
unconscious. Soon it was discovered that Brett had a history of concussions that
dated back to when he was sixteen years old. The collision forced him to retire
at the age of nineteen and spend the rest of his life pondering what was now the
fact that he would have to quit in order to live. What actually happened was,
when he was hit against the boards, his head hit the glass and that impact
forced him to collapse and fall to the ice. He was immediately taken to the
emergency room and there the doctors said that they could not examine the
severity of the injury so soon. The severity of a concussion depends strictly on
how much force is applied to the head and whether it is a head-on or a glancing
blow.1 The following week, doctors told him that he had to stop playing hockey
because the concussion was very severe and there was no way that he could regain
his health and play hockey. This gruesome injury could have been avoided if

Brett was wearing an approved helmet. The helmet that he was wearing at the time
of the injury had no foam on the inside. That foam helps absorb the impact of a
blow to the head. If he had been wearing one, there would have been a huge
chance that he could have left the ice with only a mild injury instead of a
career ending one. Another example is Brian Berard. His whole career came to an
end on March the eleventh when he was playing against the Ottawa Senators.

Marian Hossa was taking a slapshot and Berard fell to the ice to block the shot.

When the puck was shot, the end of Hossaís stick struck Berard in his eye. The
blow caused a 20-millimeter cut across the eyeball, detached the retina, sliced
off the lens, and caused other problems.2 Brian Berard is only twenty-two years
old and is forced to finish his career because of his health. All of which could
have been avoided if he had been wearing a visor on his helmet. If he had been
wearing a visor, Hossaís stick would have just bounced off the plastic and

Berard would still have blocked the shot. Itís very sad to think of all the
good people who have been injured while playing this very physical sport of
hockey. It is even more heartbreaking to think about all of those whose injuries
that could have been avoided if they had just had the proper protection.

Brettís older brother Eric Lindros defines this best. There is no player more
valuable to his team than Eric is to the Philadelphia Flyers. But on December
fourteenth, his career came to a halt when he was hit with a painful elbow to
his head. He was playing against the Florida Panthers when Alex Hicks elbowed
him in his face. He got a ten- 1 Levy Allan, Sports Injury Handbook (Toronto:

John Wiley & Sons Inc, 1985), 49. 2 Ormsby Mary, "Berard Set For Surgery

On Eye", Toronto Star, 21 Mar. 2000, D6. minute major and suspended for 6
games, but the damage had already been done. Eric Lindros had his most severe
concussion. He was unconscious for twelve minutes and when the doctors examined
him a few days later, they concluded