Flames, NHLPA at odds over safety equipment

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The Calgary Flames have managed to tread water so far this season with a 6-7-2 record, which is more than a lot of people expected from them. It hasn’t been easy though, especially with captain Mark Giordano out with a broken ankle and forward Lee Stempniak nursing a broken foot.

In an effort to prevent similar injuries in the future, Flames GM Jay Feaster has made it a mandatory team policy for all of his players to wear foot and ankle safety gear often called “shotblockers,” according to TSN.

The problem is that the NHLPA sees this as a violation of the CBA.

“No team can unilaterally make a piece of equipment mandatory,” the NHLPA’s Mathieu Schneider said.

TSN has the relevant CBA passage if you’re inclined to read legalese, but basically changes like this are expected to go through a review process before it becomes a requirement. With that in mind, the NHLPA plans to discuss the Flames’ actions with the NHL.

This isn’t necessarily about the shockblockers specifically for Schneider, but the potential consequences that might come from team’s attempting to bypass the system set in place.

Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames’ players are wearing the extra gear.