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NHL Player Launches His Own Cut-Proof Equipment Company


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Sky
October 31, 2023  (6:57 PM)
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NHL players have a long history of resisting safety equipment, from helmets to visors. However, recent events, like the tragic accident involving Adam Johnson, are making players and the league reconsider the importance of safety.

TJ Oshie, a well-known NHL star, runs a company that manufactures cut-resistant shirts to protect players' necks. Even though he doesn't wear them himself, Johnson's death prompted him to order five of these protective pieces.
TJ Oshie has a company that makes cut-resistant shirts to protect hockey players' necks. But even he never wears it.

After Adam Johnson's death, he ordered five of them.

This is what he told me on his drive to the rink for yesterday's Caps game:

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«Because they're stubborn,» said one NHL equipment manager, who was granted anonymity so he could speak freely. «It's a monkey-see, monkey-do league. All it would take is one guy to wear it. Then two days to get used to it.»

Hayley Wickenheiser, a Team Canada legend and assistant general manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs, emphasized that these incidents aren't freak occurrences. Sticks and skates coming into contact with players' necks are more common than people think. She believes that making neck protection mainstream and part of the standard equipment is crucial for the game's future.
The resistance to such safety gear is often based on the desire to look cool, but players are beginning to realize that safety should be the top priority. It's an ongoing battle similar to the introduction of helmets and visors. The more players adopt these safety measures, the more they become normalized.
«It's not a cool look having neck guards on,» Oshie said. «For whatever reason, it's just not something that's sleek and looks great.»

«You just put one on,» she said. «I wore one for 20 years with the national team, it didn't interfere with anything I did. It's just like anything else, when one player does it, everyone sees it and it becomes normal. I can't even remember hockey without visors now, and I grew up watching the world of hockey without visors. I can't even imagine not playing with a visor with how fast the game is.»

In the end, living healthy on the ice is far more important than aesthetics. The league should continue to promote and encourage the use of safety equipment to protect its players from unnecessary risks.
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NHL Player Launches His Own Cut-Proof Equipment Company

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