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11-16-2011, 05:00 PM
Damaged Goods
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Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
We seem to agree.
Well to go a step farther, I would be VERY happy if the NHL announced tomorrow that they were going to aggressively pursue a "less is more" approach to body armor. Without that step, I don't think they are on the same page with their headshot legislation and their design approach.

Less Body Armor

The best helmet in the world won’t be able to protect against 200 pound hockey players with protection that is fit for a battlefield. These days, protective elbow and shoulder pads act as weapon which players use when delivering body blows. Research shows that almost half of concussions occur because of “legal hits to the body.” Players cause concussions with their muscular arms and shoulders which are supported by elbow and shoulder pads, and which often come in contact with the facial area of other players. Years ago, these pads weren’t as hard as ice, but actual “pads” that allowed for some give if they came in contact with something.

This year, the NHL expanded Rule 48 which now makes any lateral or blind side hits to the head illegal. In other words, players are now forbidden to hit in any way which makes the head the principal point of contact. Although this rule will prevent head shots, contact to the jaw and face area will still occur from typical, legal hits.

Ironically, the technology which has allowed NHL players to skate faster, shoot harder, and body check more safely is exactly what is causing concussions. The NHL has to take a step back, specifically in regards to elbow and shoulder pads, if it is serious about decreasing concussions. Although helmets have the potential to reduce seriousness of concussions, only softened body armor will do the job of preventing them.

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