TORONTO — As ugly as Evander Kane’s skate-slashed wrist was on Nov. 8, what’s equally gut-wrenching for Kane and the Edmonton Oilers is that it was largely preventable.

Kane was not sporting Kevlar-infused and cut-resistant materials, which is broadly out there to NHL gamers, when Tampa Bay’s Pat Maroon by chance stepped on his wrist, leading to a deep laceration that went to the bone. With quick medical consideration required to cease the bleeding, Kane rapidly underwent surgical procedure to restore the reduce. He is anticipated to be out till February or March.

Kane’s harm was the genesis of an agenda merchandise about participant tools on Tuesday on the NHL’s bi-annual GM Meetings right here following Hockey Hall of Fame weekend.

The NHL’s 32 GMs had been proven video of not simply Kane’s harm, however an much more current however equally queasy incident on the Karjala Cup in Finland the place Finnish participant Waltteri Merela had his wrist sliced open.

They had been additionally proven a clip of a participant who wore a cut-resistant sock and the way it protected him towards a significant Achilles harm when a skate contacted his leg. Managers had been reminded of the 4 cut-resistant materials manufacturers out there to groups.

The NHL Players’ Association has all the time advocated for participant freedom of kit alternative. But are we inching nearer to a time when the NHL will ask the union to collectively discount the necessary use of cut-resistant underneath clothes in uncovered areas of the physique?

NHL senior EVP of hockey operations Colin Campbell mentioned Tuesday the league is speaking about simply that.

Remember: The NHL and NHLPA resisted the mandate of visors till the 2013-14 season. Now solely a handful of ‘grandfathered’ gamers nonetheless play with out one. It was a commonsense change to extend participant security. 

The identical is perhaps needed now. From from Clint Malarchuk to Richard Zednik to Ilya Mikheyev to Kane, few different on-ice risks fairly actually carry gamers to the potential brink of loss of life like skate cuts do. Players are flying round at 25 miles an hour with sharp metallic knives connected to their toes.

“It’s tough to get players to change what they have. They just don’t want to change – even though their wife or mother would probably tell you that they want them to wear this,” Campbell mentioned Tuesday. “We make it available and we need the players’ consent to mandate it. We’ve talked about it, at some point in time like we did the visors, [the idea of] grandfathering [in] cut-resistant material. Because it was a serious [injury].”

Daily Faceoff contacted the NHLPA for response on Tuesday however didn’t instantly obtain a response on the problem. One GM mentioned on Tuesday that his employees “strongly encourages” each participant to put on cut-resistant gear, however mentioned that regardless of how a lot it’s inspired, not each participant will comply as long as it isn’t mandated.

Campbell acknowledged that full change is not possible with out the NHLPA on-board. How shut is the NHL to having that dialog?

“We have it all the time,” Campbell mentioned. “Things like this [the Kane injury], you get closer. We can’t mandate it as a league, but you would hope we could. We work with the companies to make it as easy as possible to change over to the cut-resistant material. I don’t know if you’ll ever get them to wear the longer [cuff] gloves … but again, it’s a player’s choice.”

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