Whitby Dunlops defenceman Don Sanderson died early Friday morning at Hamilton General Hospital. He passed away due to head trauma suffered in a fight during a senior hockey game on December 12th in Brantford, Ontario.Yes, this is going to fuel the fire that is already burning about whether or not fighting hockey players should have their helmuts remain on during fights.
He had been in a coma and on life support since undergoing brain surgery on December 13th.
Sanderson, a student at York University, was only 21-years-old.
The native of Port Perry, Ontario got into a fight with Corey Fulton of the Brantford Blast in the third period of the game on December 12th. According to witnesses, Sanderson's helmet came off during the fight and both players fell to the ice, with Sanderson's head striking the ice surface.
I don't want to sound to insensitive so early after the incident, but this kind of tragedy does not happen all that often and I don't believe it is something that should constitute a sudden rule change.
It seems that sooner rather than later a helmut rule will be implemented. That's how safety policies usually work: a loss of a life results in a knee-jerk reaction.
Some might say that fighting should be taken out of the game completely as it doesn't hold much bearing on a game's end result. To that I say "bunk." The entertainment factor of fighting must remain in tact. The instigator rule must be abolished. Star players should be protected by means of force and/or players should be able to fire up their teammates with a scrap.
Helmuts worn during fights is a lame concept. It's almost like fighting while wearing a helmut and a visor. Lame.
Maybe they can compromise. Maybe they should but a boxing ring somewhere just outside the glass and two willing combatants can step into the ring with a padded surface. Sarcasm alert.
I'm old-fashioned. I think that wearing helmuts period should be optional. If I didn't think that way, then I couldn't say to you that helmuts should not be worn during fighting, because the same risk of a head injury is there.
What's your opinion?
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