Junior Hockey

After Linesman, Kevin Brown almost died, Ontario Hockey Association Considers Neck Guards for Refs

12/31/09 in Junior Hockey   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Reid Oliver likely feels worse than he has ever felt in his life.  Craig Thomson likely doesn't feel much better.  The two were fighting yesterday in a Junior Hockey game when Oliver lost his footing and went down, legs flaling.  Unfortunately, his skate sliced across the neck of Linesman, Kevin Brown.  Fortunately for Brown, there was a nurse in the stands and a well trained emergency medical staff in the box.  The group worked diligently on Brown, and today he remains in hospital, in critical condition, after having his carotid artery cut.

Today, the Ontario Hockey Association took a very careful look at the rules for play, and the rules governing the referees.  The announced earlier today that they will seriously consider making neck guards for the referees in these games mandatory.

This isn't the first time someone has had a serious injury from a skate.  Richard Zednick suffered a very similar injury in 2008, having his carotid artery also severed by a skate.  In 1989 Malarchuk, then in the net for the Buffalo Sabres had his jugular vein severed by a skate.

One has to quesstion, though, if this is a gut-wrench move.  Goalies have neck guards attached to their masks, yet Zednick was still injured, almost fatally.  Will a neck guard for referees actually protect them? Or would it lead to more "bad calls"?  Further, the refs don't wear a mask as the goalies do, where would they attach it?

I do hope the suggestion is given serious consideration, but I also hope we don't implement something before ensuring it is going to work. 

What's your take?
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