nocera wrote:Yeah. I get that the chances of it are extremely minimal, but isn't it better to have a preventative rule rather than a reactionary one should a NHL player die?
There was a study about 15 or so years ago that looked at the incidence of stick fouls in relation the the rules on 1) mandatory protective equipment, and 2) rules on fighting. They found that the overwhelmingly highest incident of stick fouls - particularly high sticking - occurred in leagues with the highest baseline of mandatory protective equipment (e.g. full face shield) and the most restrictive rules on fighting. The worst offender was NCAA Div I. (My own anecdotal experience as a player bears this out)
The more you attempt to proactively protect players, the more liberties those same players are willing to take with one and other. There's a level of comfort knowing that they can swing away with relative impunity.
Personally, I'd rather not have the contact to my head and face in the first place than have lots of contact that's behind a Lexan visor and polycarb helmet.
(Incidentally, the same pattern is true in motor racing as well. Yes, motorsport at all levels is immeasurably safer today compared to when I was born in the early 70s. But that has come with an attendant degradation of overall driving savvy where you see a lot more contact between cars today than you ever did in the 50s or 60s. Again.... I'd rather not have the contact at all than have a 'safe' contact.)