Ice hockey as a port has come to the headlines with the death of the player Adam Johnson, who died from an injury while playing the game. Adding to the list of tragedies, an 11-year-old boy met his tragic demise after being struck by a puck during a routine hockey practice.
The heartbreaking occurrence transpired at the Walter-Buswell arena in St-Eustache in Montreal on December 12, Tuesday at around 7 p.m. and had left a profound impact on the hockey community. With the swift measures by 911, the boy was transferred to a Montreal hospital, where he was admitted to the intensive care unit and passed away on December 15, Friday.
The St-Eustache police department has taken up the case of the death of the young hockey player and with further investigation, they have found out that the player despite being fully equipped with protective gear mandated for hockey, failed to survive the attack and succumbed to the injury that proved to be fatal.
Hence, according to their reports, the boy was compliant with all safety regulations including the use of a neck guard. Therefore, the incident has been considered to be an unfortunate accident that left the community in shock. As reported by Empire Advance, Isabelle Charest, the minister of Quebec responsible for sports has shared her condolences in a Twitter post stating, “A sadness without words. I am devastated to learn of the death of this young hockey player.”
Amidst tragedy and the collective devastation felt by the association, the leagues have decided to put their practices and matches to a halt. In the meanwhile, psychological resources have been provided to the players, volunteers, and families who are struggling to come to terms with the irreparable loss.
Even though it has been made mandatory by the hockey programs for minors to wear neck guards, there lies uncertainty about whether these measures succeed in minimizing the risks. As pointed out by a Montreal cardiologist and epidemiologist, Dr. Christopher Labos, the neck protectors that hockey players currently use while protecting them from slashes fail to safeguard them from blunt trauma.
The tragic incident of the young hockey player passing away has caused flashbacks of the memories related to a former Montreal Canadiens hockey player, Trent McCleary whose life was similarly cut short by a similar accident in the 2000s. McCleary was hit in the throat by a puck strike. Another hockey player, Michael Raposo had confirmed that since then the neck guards have not undergone any alteration in design, however, knee and elbow pads have been upgraded to ensure better protection.
Hence, the tragedy has reignited the conversation revolving around the need for the hockey fraternity to look into the matter of upgrading their protective measures and safety equipment in order to avoid unforeseen accidents in the future. The incident served as a somber reminder of the fragility of life in the world of sports.