Ed Snider has watched some tough teams in his days as owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, but yesterday in Chicago at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, he said the NHL is more dangerous than it’s ever been.
“I think a lot of it is due to the equipment today,” said Snider, as per CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio. “In the old days, you had soft shoulder pads and didn’t have a whole lot of equipment or helmets. I think players respected each other more. They grow up now in junior with these masks and so forth and hit up high. It’s a different game. Obviously, it’s a very serious problem.”
John Davidson, the St. Louis Blues’ president of hockey operations, said almost the exact same thing: “The equipment is so hard and the players don’t respect each other as much as before.”
Given the influence Snider has on league matters, it’ll be interesting to see if equipment is addressed in the near future. The fact two of his best players, Claude Giroux and Chris Pronger, are currently out with concussions (though neither are equipment related) might serve to speed up the process.
Don Cherry has been talking about the equipment issue for ages (video). And while the NHL bans elbow pads “which do not have a soft protective outer covering of sponge rubber,” perhaps something more needs to be done.