Rethinking the Rink

Paul Steinbach Headshot

Trauma and Tragedy Have Spurred Changes in the Ice Arena Environment, and Everyone from Skaters to Spectators Is Safer For It


In a National Hockey League game played last January, Michael Pica of the New York Islanders unleashed a legal but no less violent hit on the Montreal Canadiens' Patrick Traverse, whose head crashed into the tempered glass surrounding the rink at Montreal's Molson Centre. The collision and resulting concussion left Traverse unconscious for two minutes and out of commission for 12 games. It also left the Canadiens, who led the NHL in player-games lost to injury during each of the previous two seasons, little choice but to heed the league's recommendation of two months earlier to replace the Molson Centre's rigid dasher boards and seamless protective glass with more-forgiving systems.

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