Jan 29, 2015
Voices for Safety

Representatives from some of the nation’s most influential bodies in hockey are converging in St. Paul, Minn., next month for a Player Safety Summit on how to make their game as safe as possible while being true to the game. “Our goal is not to change the game, but rather to enhance it by creating a safer environment,” said John McClellan, executive director of Herb Brooks Foundation, which is hosting the gathering March 8 at the Xcel Energy Center, home to the boys state hockey tournaments being played that weekend.
While player safety at all levels has been an ongoing concern, including in recent years in the prevention of concussions, the paralyzing check that was put on teenager Jack Jablonski during a junior varsity hockey game on Dec. 30 in suburban Minneapolis has intensified interest in keeping the players as healthy as possible while they pursue the game they love.

“Bringing all these hockey entities together to try and shape a vision that improves hockey for players is the essence my father stood for,” said Dan Brooks, the son of 1980 “Miracle” coach Herb Brooks, who died in 2003.

Among the Summit’s participants:

  • Mike Jablonski, Jack’s father
  • A representative from the office of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
  • Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton
  • Dave Margenau, president of Minnesota Hockey
  • Greg Shepherd, WCHA supervisor of officials
  • Don Lucia, Minnesota Gophers head coach
  • Dr. Mark Carlson Sanford Orthopedics Health & Sports Medicine, which is sponsoring the event.
  • Hal Tearse, coach-in-chief Minnesota Hockey
  • Dave Stead, executive director of the Minnesota State High School League
  • Neil Sheehy, USA Hockey board member, NHL player agent

At a glance

When: March 8, 8:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Where: River Centre, Room 7 on 2nd floor, next Xcel Energy Center

Sponsored by: Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

Hosting organization: Herb Brooks Foundation

Panel MC:
Anthony LaPanta of Fox Sports North

Media note: For more information or to arrange interviews and other coverage, contact Robb Leer at 612.701.0608

“A lot can be done to enhance the culture of the game and impact safety and inspire coaches to find new ways to teach kids how to separate the puck from a player,” McClellan said.

“Hockey is the ultimate team game. By bringing all levels together and getting on the same page, this Player Safety Summit will be the best forum to improve the way the game is played.”

About the Herb Brooks Foundation
The Herb Brooks Foundation mission is to memorialize the miracle, create and operate the most innovative hockey skill development and training facility in the USA ( Herb Brooks Training Center), located in Blaine, Minn., at the National Sports Center, create and operate the best educational leadership training program for hockey players, coaches, and officials as well as create and operate a learning environment that gives the game back to the kids. For more information, http://herbbrooksfoundation.com/.

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