Preventing Injury While Playing Hockey

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Preventing Injury While Playing Hockey

Some people might recall the glory days of professional hockey when players did not wear helmets. Back then, goalies wore little more than a thin face shield, if anything at all. This is why there were so many broken noses as well as broken teeth, and severe injuries. Today the addition of new equipment has helped to reduce many of these injuries. For example, the “Tuuk blade” which offers a plastic holder. This has reduced many injuries due to the blade breakage. All of the companies that manufacture hockey equipment today are constantly looking for better ways to increase safety.

The manufacturers of hockey equipment have helped to improve the safety issues players face. The helmets and face masks, which are now mandatory, have probably made the most impact. These two pieces of equipment have tremendously reduced the injuries above the shoulder. The face mask has nearly eliminated blinding eye injuries. Many injuries to the face and eyes have also been reduced significantly. The helmet has reduced many soft tissue damages to the covered areas of the head. There is no doubt that there is better protection needed for the neck in order to reduce accidents resulting in injury to the spinal cord.

Most coaches will agree that aside from the necessary equipment there are other important factors needed in order to reduce injury. These include player awareness, coaching techniques, playing rules, and equipment standards. One of the biggest defense techniques, in order to reduce injury is for players to learn how to properly “check” other players as well as learn how to be given a check. Many injuries happen today because of improper or illegal checking. Injuries generally take place in the knees, shoulders, and wrist.

Parents are always concerned that their son or daughter might be injured while playing hockey. There are some precautions parents can take in order to prevent injuries to their child or young adult. One of the best things a parent can do when buying equipment, is to purchase equipment that provides the appropriate amount of protection based on their child’s level of play. When making different purchases you need to be certain that each piece of equipment fits properly. Parents should only purchase helmets and face masks that are H.E.C.C. certified. Parents should also look into USA Hockey’s insurance coverage as well as make certain that their child’s hockey club has a first aid and injury prevention program. Finally, every player needs to always play the game the way it is meant to be played.

This article was provided by the New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys at Andres & Berger, P.C.

6 (Not So Simple) Steps for Purchasing a Professional Sports Team

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Franchise For Sale

Who hasn’t dreamed of owning their very own professional sports team? Well it can be done and it would be easy to restrict this list to just one simple requirement, namely, the first item on this list. But there’s more to it than that. Here are six (not so simple) steps for purchasing a professional sports team.

  1. Get Rich Quick

Piece of cake, right? Okay, maybe not. But being rich is the first step along the way. They don’t give these franchises away. And some of them are worth billions! So you had better start with very deep pockets.

  1. Know the Sport

An in-depth knowledge of the sport is a big help. You need to know if the sport is thriving in the city where your team is located. In the case of football and baseball, this can be a given. But with basketball and hockey, things are a little more hit and miss. Struggling teams can be had cheap but you better be sure you’ve got the know-how to turn them around or you’ll keep losing money.

  1. Love the Hate

Fans of your team will hate you. The honeymoon will be over quick so you had better have a thick skin going in. Oh, they will sing your praises as long as the championships keep piling up, but have one bad year and look out! You’ll be public enemy number one!

  1. Friends in High Places

You’re going to have tax headaches and permit nightmares the minute you take over your very own team. Without friends in local government, you’ll be hogtied with so much red tape, the fans won’t be able to find the entrances. Every facet of government is going to want in on the deal and free luxury boxes only go so far. Government officials must become your new best friends.

  1. Have a Proven Track Record

No professional league is just going to hand you a team for a pile of money. You have to demonstrate a sound business sense and a proven track record for running one or more companies successfully for a number of years. With 100s or even 1000s of employees in every facet of the sport and the local community, you’re now responsible for a lot of mouths that need feeding. You have to know what you’re doing.

  1. Get Religion

Soaring player salaries. Players jumping ship for lucrative deals. Taxes. Fan complaints. Permits. Expenses. Bad press. Fighting for TV coverage. Souvenir manufacturing hassles. Profit margins. On and on and on. With all these to worry about and so much more, your team will probably give you more grief than happiness. So maybe a sincere prayer every now and then wouldn’t hurt. You might also want to stock up on the aspirin.

And there you have it: a step-by-step plan that will land you that professional sports team that can’t miss. So save your pennies and you’ll be cheering on your very own team in no time.

TO: Owners of the NFL and NBA This is not the time to strike or lockout!

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Fryingpan Sports

TO: Owners of the NFL and NBA

This is not the time to strike or lockout!

By Bill Smith

There is a famous saying that those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That is not correct in all cases. In the case of the NFL and the NBA that face expiration of player master contracts in the next couple of years, let me restate it.

“Those that fail to learn from history are just doomed!” Smith, 2009

Both the leagues must learn from the examples of the NHL and MLB how devastating strikes or lockouts can be to their survival.

The case of MLB in 1994

In 1993, MLB had a total attendance of 70,257,938 a 26 percent increase over 92 and the best in league history. In the 5 years from 83-88 the league had averaged an increase of 3.3 percent per year. From 89-93 the league enjoyed an average increase of 5.5 percent per year. Teams like Montreal that had struggled for years were starting to show improvement. The game seemed fine but according to both the players association and the owners the economics were not.

The owners had forced then MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent to resign in September 1992. They replaced him with an owner, Bud Selig.

The owners stated publicly the case for a salary cap similar to the one in the NFL. They claimed that small market teams would go bankrupt unless a salary cap and revenue sharing was implemented. The players distrusted the owners with good reason. The league had been found guilty of collusion and was forced to pay $280 million in reparations.

Despite President Clinton trying to intervene to prevent a strike, the two sides threw unrelated proposals back and forth doing more negotiating in the press than face to face. The players voted to strike and on Aug. 12, 1994 walked out. The rest of the season was lost including the World Series.

Attendance in 1995 which was 144 games instead of 162 was down 28% from 93. The total attendance did not recover to 1993 levels until 1998. The growth rate of 5.5 percent per year was not seen again. In fact the total growth between 1995 and 2005 was 6.6%.

We now know that the era of the live ball was being replace by the era of “juiced” ballplayer. After all that, the owners folded before they got a salary cap or any meaningful revenue sharing. Somehow the luxury tax does not replace either of those principles.

The case of the NHL

You may remember fondly the ESPN coverage of the NHL. Real hockey fans may remember less fondly the Fox coverage with glowing pucks and battling hockey robots. But at least that was coverage most people could see.

The agreement that ended the 94-95 lockout of players expired on Sept. 15, 2004. The owners led by Commissioner Gary Bettman wanted an agreement including salary structure linking player salaries to league revenues to provide cost certainty. From 2002, the league and the players association (NHLPA) negotiated. But failing to reach agreement, the owners locked out the players on Sept. 16, 2004.

To the surprise of no one, the NHLPA and executive director Bob Goodenow didn’t believe the league numbers and refused to budge on the “cost certainty” issue. Both sides tried to negotiate in the press but according to a poll of Canadian fans conducted by Ipsos-Reid, the owners were more successful than the players at getting their point across to the public. 52 percent of the fans blamed the players while only 21% blamed the owners. 17 percent said a pox on both of your houses.

The league lost the entire 2004-05 season but the agreement finally reached did not solve any of the problems and caused several others. Attendance, the life blood of the league went down following the second strike in 10 years and is still recovering in some markets. The biggest blow was the loss of the ESPN TV contract. Following the stoppage, ABC/ESPN passed on the opportunity to bid on covering the league.

The NHL had their 2008-09 all star weekend broadcast by their new network—Verses. I pay 80 dollars a month for Dish and Verses is not part of my package. Enough said.

My Advice:

If you are going to risk the future of the league with a strike or a lockout, make sure it is worth it. Stick it out as long as it takes to get what you need to survive.

The owners in the NFL can not survive with guaranteed player contracts. They must prevent that to make a lockout worth while. If the owners are not willing to stick together to get that done, forget the lockout, play 2 extra regular season games and do the deal with the players.

The NBA needs to either eliminate guaranteed contacts (not likely) or get a hard salary cap based on a % of total revenues of the league. If you’re not willing to do what it takes to get that from the players, forget the lockout.

While the players make great salaries, they will not stick together for an extended period. They need the income to support their life styles. The owners are lacking backbone as well. We will see who blinks first.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]


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