In a standard yr, Maggie MacTavish says she would promote about 200 neck guards out of her sports activities tools retailer in Fredericton. She’d solely promote a handful to some new skaters this time of yr.
However MacTavish estimates she has bought about 50 during the last week.
“With the uptick, definitely I feel most shops are going to search out they did not have sufficient,” mentioned MacTavish, co-owner of MacTavish’s Supply For Sports activities.
The demand for neck guards follows the loss of life of 29-year-old Adam Johnson, who died after he was slashed within the neck by the skate of former College of New Brunswick Reds participant Matt Petgrave throughout a recreation in the UK. Now leagues throughout Canada are making neck guards obligatory.
The Canadian Junior Hockey League, which incorporates the Maritime Hockey League, introduced on Friday that it will require the gamers on all its 122 groups to put on the protecting gear every time they’re on the ice.
“It was a unanimous choice that we thought was in one of the best curiosity of our athletes,” mentioned CJHL president Andy Harkness.
He mentioned groups shall be given time to get the tools, however the brand new rule is already in impact.
“Primarily based on the unlucky circumstances, it appears to be like like there’s a demand within the market for neck guards and there simply is probably not availability,” mentioned Harkness.
“Our member leagues and groups are working via suppliers to see after they can get it as shortly as potential.”
A daily neck guard prices about $15 whereas the professional neck guard prices $30. MacTavish mentioned that whereas they nonetheless have common neck guards accessible, the professional mannequin is sort of bought out.
“Proper now Bauer is bought out of them in order quickly as our inventory is gone, in all probability shall be mid-December earlier than we’re capable of get any extra,” mentioned MacTavish.
Hockey in New Brunswick
Minor hockey in New Brunswick has lengthy required gamers to put on neck guards. Nic Jansen, govt director of Hockey N.B., mentioned the group may even take a look at the necessities for different ranges of hockey.
Presently, senior league and the junior B and C league gamers aren’t required to put on neck guards. Jansen mentioned there are nationwide conferences in November, the place countrywide mandates shall be mentioned.
I feel that this is step one … in all of the leagues making it obligatory.– Coach Kyle McAllister
“Relying on the route that occurs on the nationwide conferences, if it isn’t mandated nationally, there’s the potential that there might be additional mandates from a provincial standpoint,” mentioned Jansen.
Atlantic College Sport president Phillip Currie mentioned there isn’t any coverage for neck guards at the moment within the league, however it’s one thing the AUS is given latest occasions.
Maritime Hockey League
5 out of the 9 leagues below the CJHL already had a rule in place that required neck guards. For the Maritime Hockey League, it is new.
In keeping with MacTavish, Fredericton’s junior hockey staff, the Pink Wings, put in an order for 25 neck guards from her retailer.
“It is our job to do our greatest to ensure the gamers are protected,” mentioned Pink Wings coach Kyle McAllister.
He mentioned the gamers that come as much as the junior stage have been carrying neck guards for his or her complete profession, however when it is not obligatory, most gamers cease carrying them.
However he mentioned he hasn’t acquired any pushback from the gamers on his staff in regards to the new rule.
“The gamers themselves I feel acknowledge the significance of this,” mentioned McAllister. “They wish to be sure that the gamers themselves and the gamers they’re taking part in towards are protected and no one places any person in an pointless danger.”
McAllister expects extra leagues will regulate their guidelines as nicely to make neck guards obligatory. The Skilled Ladies’s Hockey League is discussing whether or not to undertake an analogous coverage, and the NHL is inspecting its rules as nicely.
The Western Hockey League additionally introduced final week that it will make neck guards obligatory. The Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Main Junior Hockey League already required their gamers to put on neck guards.
“I feel that this is step one … in all of the leagues making it obligatory. So I do assume that is a step in the precise route,” mentioned McAllister.