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01-14-2013, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I really can't track down a singular reason why the NHL implemented the helmet rule for all new players starting in 1979-'80. I know that Larry Robinson and Don Cherry were two prominent names that claimed head injuries would skyrocket with a mandatory helmet rule and..........well, the proof is in the pudding. But I don't know what happened specifically in 1979 for the league to look at it.
I dont think there was any single incident in 77-79 that really tipped the scales Phil. That had already occurred in 67-68 when Bill Masterton of Minnesota got hit by Larry Cahan & Ron Harris of Oakland, went flying, head cracks on the ice & died after something like 30+ hours of Emergency Surgery.

By the time Ziegler introduced that "new rule" with a Grandfather Clause (Craig MacTavish was the last guy to play without a lid in 97 I believe) in 79 over 70% of the leagues players were wearing them anyway as theyd been mandated in the early & mid 60's at almost every level so they grew up with it.

Most leagues also have rules as to the proper wearing of helmets, the IIHF etc, but not the NHL (though wasnt there something brought in about that a year or so ago; that the straps had to be done up properly or am I imagining it?). Just that the things be CSA & US Safety approved & stickered. You cant wear a metal face piece in the NHL either, a cage, not unless its to protect an injury. Goalie masks & helmets are of course an entirely different animal....

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