Seravalli: The NHL is looking into more protection from skate blades

Photo credit:Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Liam Horrobin
1 year ago
The NHL is not unfamiliar with ugly injuries. Over the years, fans have seen many players go down with injuries that any normal human being would recover from. An issue that has popped up this season more regularly than wanted is being cut by a skate blade.
The most notable claim to this was Evander Kane’s cut against the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this season. The incident occurred after Patrick Maroon’s skate blade crossed Kane’s wrist and cut him. The injury left Kane out of the lineup for months.
Another incident that was not as publicized was when Connor McDavid caught Dylan De Melo on his face. Luckily, De Melo did not suffer any long-term injuries that prevented him from playing. However, it could have been much worse.
All eyes across the hockey world are now on the Stanley Cup playoffs. Last night, those eyes got a glimpse of what damage a skate blade can do to a player in the Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets game one matchup. Morgan Barron fell to the ice and got his face caught on the skate of Golden Knights goaltender Laurent Brossoit. A freak accident caused Barron to get 75 stitches on his face. The Jets forward did return to the ice wearing a full cage.

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Today on Oilersnation Everyday, Frank Seravalli from Daily Faceoff spoke about if the NHL would consider more protection for the players.
“They (NHL) are trying (to bring in more protective equipment). What the league has found is that they are getting pushback from the player association, who is saying don’t tell us what to wear. These things have to be collectively bargained. Players are so ritualized and freaks of routine that they can’t wrap their brains around something else.”
“I do think that there is a large conversation to be had this summer. It is actually tabled for the general manager meetings in June. I doubt we will ever get to a place where players are wearing full cages, but I would not be against it by any stretch of the imagination. You see what happened to Morgan Barron. This is a gruesome injury that reminds me of something from Game of Thrones.”
It is hard to imagine the NHL as a full cage league one day. With that said, it was not that long ago that visors were not mandatory in the league, either. It may take every junior league to buy into the decision first before the big leagues can make their own evaluation of it all.  For now, the NHL should at least look into putting some protection into the body equipment that prevents any more wrists from being slashed.
Full credit to Barron for gutting it out after a scary situation and also for telling reports that all he was wondering after it happened was if the puck went it. A true hockey guy. With that said, let’s hope we do not see somebody else in this playoffs with a skate in their face.

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