Warning: This video is not for the squeamish.
If you weren’t brave enough to watch the video (and believe me, I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t), Richard Zednik of the Florida Panthers had his carotid artery slashed by a fellow player’s skate during a game yesterday. Thanks to immediate, on-site medical attention and emergency surgery, he survived.What I totally don’t get is why NHL hockey players don’t wear neck guards. I mean, seriously, why on earth would you want to leave your neck, with your precious, precious carotid artery in it, exposed? I also think it’s stupid that hockey players don’t wear full face shields, but I can at least understand that a face shield does impede your vision; but a neck guard? A neck guard in no way hampers your play, so why don’t they wear them? I wouldn’t dream of playing without mine1 but I would say that the majority of people I’ve played with don’t wear them. I’ve asked people why and usually get the answer “it bothers me” or “it’s not comfortable.2” You know what else isn’t comfortable? A slashed carotid artery.
P.S. You can go to the Panthers’ website to send Zednik a “get well” note.
1I also wear a full face shield because I don’t care if it impedes my vision, I’m far too beautiful to risk anything happening my face!).
2And I can honestly say that when I play, I never even notice that I’m wearing a neck guard.