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USA Hockey to require neck guards for youth players in wake of Adam Johnson’s death

The requirement will go into effect on August 1.

NHL: NOV 11 Sabres at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

USA Hockey has announced that a new requirement will be going into effect for all youth players to wear neck guards as part of their equipment in the wake of the death of former Penguins player Adam Johnson.

The requirement will go into effect on August 1.

“Safety is always at the forefront of our conversations and the action of our Congress today reflected that,” said Mike Trimboli, president of USA Hockey. “We appreciate the significant work done by our Safety and Protective Equipment Committee, led by Dr. Mike Stuart, and the many others who were instrumental in the overall evaluation process.”

Johnson died last year after taking a skate blade to the neck during a game overseas.

Since then, the IIHF has required neck guards be worn and some organizations have made them mandatory as well.

The Penguins have made the wearing of neck guards and wrist guards mandatory for all players at the AHL and ECHL levels.

A requirement for NHL players would require a collectively bargained agreement between the league and the union.