Junior team adopts full-face protection

Three weeks or so until game one for Trail Smoke Eaters

Stax, it is.

The Smokies picked the name most likely to be supported by its hoped-for surge of younger fans, which is all good and their right as a commercial enterprise. I don’t hate it – it was my second choice all along.

But, it will be far less fun to explain, with myth and truthiness, than the, “history,” laden runner-up, when those unfamiliar with local hockey’s background ask about it. The Murphys are highly successful business folks, so I assume, too, that they have commercializing offshoots ready to go.

Three weeks or so before game one for 2017-18.

• It is likely a good thing that the BCHL is wading deeply into the concussion issue. Its players are kids, and adult responsibility, particularly of the, “in loco parentis,” kind inherent in operating junior hockey teams, mandates that those in charge do whatever they can to protect those players’ interests.

It will be interesting to see, then, how B.C. junior leagues react to the Peninsula Panthers decision to require all of their players to wear full face (cage or visor, and preferably cage) protection from here on out. The Panthers, of the Junior B Vancouver Island Hockey League, say, Logic Trumped Tradition when it came to the decision, and the team has 100 per cent support from parents of the players on this season’s roster.

Lots of old timers will grumble about taking the macho out of hockey-as-we-knew-it, but with a generation of players reaching elite levels after having spent their whole hockey lives fully protected and sticks up, the Panthers may be onto the only sensible solution to facial, including dental, injuries.

Given that the BCHL has pretty much taken fighting out of the game, the junior B move may not be a step too far. Other than making the players harder to identify by visage, the biggest complaint about full face protection has always been the unfairness it could bring in a scrap between a fully protected player and one whose face was vulnerable. That may soon be a complete non factor.

A downside, unless it is heavily and strictly officiated, may be a tendency among players not to bother to bring their sticks down, as they often do not bother at younger levels. That must be curtailed, almost at any cost, because the speed and strength of modern players can mean serious injury even to a mostly protected head.

The NCAA, by the way, has mandated full facial protection for more than three decades. Players in the BCHL, at least a great many of them, are looking for opportunities in the NCAA. They might be happy at the thought of getting some experience with the concept. The Ontario Junior (A) Hockey League will go to full face protection for all its players this season.

Stay tuned.

Just Posted

Life insurance can be a business expense

Tax Tips & Pits with Ron Clarke, Trail Times columnist

BC senior curling championship slides into Trail

The Trail Curling Association hosts 16 men’s and women’s teams in the senior provincial championship

Snoopy shows up in snowy Silver City

What You See: If you have a recent photo to share email (large size please) to editor@trailtimes.ca

South Slocan woman killed in Friday crash

Police continue to investigate cause of fatal crash

Centennials end Trail Smoke Eaters’ win streak

The Trail Smoke Eaters lost a close 6-4 match to the Merritt Centennials on Saturday

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

Chanel: Iconic couturier Karl Lagerfeld has died

He spent virtually his entire career at luxury labels catering to the very wealthy

Interior Health on high alert for possible measles cases

No reports of the disease yet, but regular travel to the Coast could bring measles to the Interior

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Most Read