Easy-Stow Island Senior Hockey League

PEI's Community Senior Men's Hockey League

    Player's death prompts talk of reforming helmet rules


    Is it time to ban fighting in hockey?


    Posts : 332
    Join date : 2009-01-25
    Age : 39
    Location : Prince County, PE

    Player's death prompts talk of reforming helmet rules Empty Player's death prompts talk of reforming helmet rules

    Post by Admin on Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:12 pm

    I'm sure you've all herd about this tragidy by now from the broadcast on all the sports stations, I have found a link to a facebook group as well as an article from the paper.



    Player’s death prompts talk of reforming helmet rules

    TORONTO – The death of a 21-year-old hockey player who died three weeks after hitting his unprotected head on the ice during a fight has renewed calls for tougher rules governing the use of helmets.

    Don Sanderson, a rookie defenceman with the senior AAA Whitby Dunlops of the Ontario Hockey Association, died shortly after 1 a.m. Friday at Hamilton General Hospital.

    Senior AAA is the highest level of senior amateur hockey in Canada, involving players who are aged 21 and over – too old for the junior level – at the start of the season.

    Sanderson, a native of Port Perry, Ont., was tussling with Brantford Blast forward Corey Fulton during the third period of a Dec. 12 game at the Brantford Civic Centre when his helmet fell off.

    Toward the end of the fight, both players tumbled to the ice, causing Sanderson to strike the back of his bare head. He was out cold for about 30 seconds before he briefly regained consciousness. The York University student eventually fell into a coma, underwent brain surgery and was moved to life support until his death.

    Dunlops president Steve Cardwell said the fight wasn’t particularly vicious.

    “It didn’t look like it was as bad as obviously this has turned out to be,” Cardwell said.

    “At the time it looked like so many other fights that anybody connected with hockey would have watched over the last number of years.”

    Cardwell praised Sanderson as a fierce competitor and a valuable player with a big heart. While he said his main concern is helping the family cope, he believes there needs to be closer look at the broader circumstances of Sanderson’s death.

    “Any time a tragedy like this happens – and it could have been prevented by a number of rule changes, or the way helmets are made, or the way that they work – that debate needs to happen,” he said.

    “Because if you lose just one life and you don’t learn from it, then we’re all making a big mistake.”

    League rules state that helmets approved by the Canadian Standards Association must be worn and fastened securely with a chin strap.

    The general unwritten rule of thumb is that no more than one or two fingers should fit between the player’s chin and the strap, said OHA president Brent Ladds.

    While Cardwell said “each player has a personal choice how he wears it,” officials will often point out improperly worn helmets during the pre-game warm-up, Ladds said.

    He agreed Sanderson’s death should prompt discussion on the matter, and said the issue will be raised at the organization’s next monthly board meeting.

    While he’s seen players occasionally forced to tighten their chin straps, Dunlops captain Peter MacKellar said he doesn’t think the rule is being enforced strictly.

    Following the fatal incident, however, he’s wondering whether the rule should be revisited.

    “I got into a fight one or two games later and my helmet came off and all of a sudden you’re thinking about Don and you’re thinking, ‘Jeez this could happen right now,”’ he said.


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