Wickenheiser calls for neck protection at “every level” after Johnson’s death.

Hayley Wickenheiser is calling for mandatory neck protection at “every level of hockey” after former NHL player Adam Johnson died from a cut from a skate blade during a game in England on Saturday.

A four-time Olympic gold medalist in women’s ice hockey, Wickenheiser earned her medical degree after her playing career and currently works as an assistant general manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Neck guards are not mandatory in the NHL. The Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League require players to wear neck protection.

Hockey Canada also requires players registered in youth or women’s hockey to wear a neck protector.

Winnipeg Jets interim coach Scott Arniel says he expects the NHL to explore the use of increased protection.

Arniel was a forward for the Buffalo Sabers when his teammate, goaltender Clint Malarchuk, was struck in the neck by a skate blade on March 22, 1989.

Malarchuk survived the life-threatening injury but suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Former Montreal Canadiens forward Richard Zednik survived a similar incident in 2008.

Jets center Mark Scheifele expects there will be multiple discussions about increased neck protection in the coming days. He says protective gear can be limiting and sees wearing a neck protector as an individual decision.

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