NHLPA To Blame For Safety Issues, Not The NHL

November 6th, 2009 by Mark Ritter Leave a reply »
In 1979, after years of resistance by NHL players, the NHL made helmets mandatory for  players entering the league. Veteran players that were currently helmet-less would be allowed to let their locks fly if they chose, but the goal was to have all players wearing helmets within five to 10 years.

Players like Guy Lafleur, Ron Duguay, Brad Marsh and many others refused to get on-board with the change and continued to let their hair fly in the face of the NHL. In fact, the last player to not wear a helmet was none other than former Edmonton Oiler defenseman and head coach, Craig Mactavish, who went helmet-less until 1997.

Looking back, mandating helmets was a “no-brainer” (pardon the pun!), but it didn’t happen overnight and the decision was not without protest. Many NHL players argued a helmet was too hot to wear, others said helmets limited their vision, another argument was that the chin straps were too tight, more still felt helmets limited the identity of the players—all laughable excuses.

The players' loud protest fell on deaf ears, as the NHL witnessed enough injuries and—for the better safety of its greatest assets (the players)—the NH ...

Read Full Article at Bleacher Report - NHL
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