The neck protector will become mandatory "for all hockey players," Pierre-Yves Gerbeau, president of the French Ice Hockey Federation, told La Marseillaise. "It was important for us to discuss it directly with the clubs to plan this new measure in a quantitative way," explained the manager. You have to realize that we have nearly 7,000 licensees (in the men's categories). So we had to make sure that all the clubs could get hold of them."
The decision follows the death of Adam Johnson, a 29-year-old Canadian hockey player who was killed during a game in England after having his throat slit by a skate. As of December 15, all players will wear protection in the Magnus League, the elite of French hockey, before the introduction of the measure in Division 1 and 2 from mid-January and then in Division 3 and amateur from March 2024.
Grenoble leads by example
"It's a very good thing," said Teddy Trabichet, four-time champion of France with the Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble and the Rapaces de Gap, also interviewed by La Marseillaise. As a player, it doesn't get in the way and it's safer. It's not much to wear. I say that, but no one was wearing them. Me first. We didn't know what could happen. It took a tragedy for it to act as an electroshock."
Already mandatory for hockey players under 20 years old and for women, the equipment will therefore become mandatory for all licensees in France. Note that the Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble, champions of France in 2021-2022, have set an example by imposing the neck protector from November 21 within the club.