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The Spectator

The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

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Hockey injuries and safety procedures

Adam+Johnson+plays+in+an+NHL+game.
Photo by @Cookiejarry35
Adam Johnson plays in an NHL game.

These past few months have been very rough for the sports world. There have been countless injuries that could have been prevented with small safety precautions. 

Adam Johnson was a very respected hockey player. He played for the Pittsburgh Penguins before moving to England and spending his final years playing for the Nottingham Panthers. On October 28th, during a game against the Sheffield Steelers, he was struck on the neck by an opposing player. This incident serves as an example of the gruesome sports injuries that can occur if one does not follow the proper safety procedures. 

Evan Stastny ’24, Prep Hockey captain, reflected on this incident, as several players on his team have adjusted in order to play comfortably and safely. Stastny emphasized how scary the incident regarding Johnson was for him and his hockey teammates: “It’s really hard to see someone get killed doing the sport they love, and a sport I do as well.” In other words, this injury will further push members of LFA hockey teams to follow safety precautions they may have brushed off before. 

Hockey, being a fast-paced, physical sport, means injuries are common. Some of the most common injuries include concussions, overuse injuries, and skin lacerations. In any sport, concussions happen frequently, especially in a sport as physical as hockey. With big hits to players and checking towards the head area being prevalent in hockey, they tend to be caused by big hits to players and checking toward the head area. In terms of overuse or musculoskeletal injuries, these also happen through falls or collisions. These injuries have an extensive range of severity. Skin lacerations are common in hockey, as skate blades or sticks often cut players. These injuries can range from minor cuts to more serious lacerations that require stitches or surgery. 

“It was a wake-up call for the entire world to implement safety protocols,” Staavysny stated. Pro hockey leagues have attempted to make the sport as safe as possible while l to prevent these injuries. Players should wear a helmet that fits properly and is made to protect the head from impact in order to avoid concussions. They should also be mindful of their surroundings on the ice and refrain from checking to the head. Players should warm up and cool down correctly before practices and games to prevent musculoskeletal injuries. To maintain strong and flexible muscles and joints, athletes should train and stretch regularly. Players should wear gloves, elbow pads, and shin pads to prevent skin abrasions. Additionally, they should refrain from using broken or sharply edged-sticks when playing. 

If players do these things, the amount of injuries will be reduced, and when injuries happen, the severity of them should be reduced. The incident involving Adam Johnson was a sorrowful moment for the sport, and the hockey world will do whatever it takes to help make the sport safer for all the players.

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