Earlier this year, a tragic event happened in the hockey world that resulted in the death of a former Pittsburgh Penguin. As a result of the incident, players, and teams across hockey in general are proposing a new protective device to keep it from happening again.

Among those teams considering it are the K-Wings, and many others in the ECHL.

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What Happened?

Earlier this season, Adam Johnson, who previously played with the Pittsburgh Penguins, was playing with the Nottingham Panthers, in the British Elite Ice Hockey League.

During a game on Oct. 28th against the Sheffield Steelers, he sustained a cut to the neck when a player from the opposing team lifted their leg off the ice during the game, and immediately began bleeding.

Sadly, the injury was too severe, and shortly after, he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Johnson was only 29 years old, and was not wearing any type of protective gear around his neck.

What are other players doing now?

The news shocked the hockey world, and within a few days, teams, leagues, and players were quickly discussing how such a rare incident could be prevented from happening. The answer is a protective piece of padding that goes around the neck.

Currently, it is not a required piece of equipment, nor are the jerseys or shirts that have neck protections built into them. However, the ECHL - which is the league the K-Wings play in - did start requiring cut resistant socks and wrist guards.

Will the K-Wings Require The New Neck Guards?

At this time, nobody is changing the rules, and they are still not required in any league. However, the concern is certainly heightened right now, and the K-Wings went out and purchased new neck guards, and shirts with neck protections for players.

The team can't require players wear them, without approval from the ECHL, but they are actively working to get it passed, and required for everyone.

So if you see some added padding around players' necks this season, now you know why.

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