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Flames, NHLPA at odds over safety equipment

Nov 6, 2013, 9:58 AM EDT

Mark Giordano Getty Images

The Calgary Flames have managed to tread water so far this season with a 6-7-2 record, which is more than a lot of people expected from them. It hasn’t been easy though, especially with captain Mark Giordano out with a broken ankle and forward Lee Stempniak nursing a broken foot.

In an effort to prevent similar injuries in the future, Flames GM Jay Feaster has made it a mandatory team policy for all of his players to wear foot and ankle safety gear often called “shotblockers,” according to TSN.

The problem is that the NHLPA sees this as a violation of the CBA.

“No team can unilaterally make a piece of equipment mandatory,” the NHLPA’s Mathieu Schneider said.

TSN has the relevant CBA passage if you’re inclined to read legalese, but basically changes like this are expected to go through a review process before it becomes a requirement. With that in mind, the NHLPA plans to discuss the Flames’ actions with the NHL.

This isn’t necessarily about the shockblockers specifically for Schneider, but the potential consequences that might come from team’s attempting to bypass the system set in place.

Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames’ players are wearing the extra gear.

  1. flash8910 - Nov 6, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    NHLPA is like a honey badger. It doesn’t care. It doesn’t give a %$#&.

  2. metalization1 - Nov 6, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Seriously? The Flames are protecting their players and the NHLP has a problem. This is a joke.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      Back in the olden days, one of the major roles of unions was to fight to have safety gear brought in to protect workers, while management often fought them, saying it would be too expensive. Ah, progress.

  3. barkar942 - Nov 6, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    It seems to me that the NHLPA is protecting its players from “if the league or my team require me to wear something and I get hurt because of it, who’s fault is it”.
    Personally, I think the league should be more concerned that the team is requiring mandatory use of a piece of equipment, for that would make the team and league liable in the case of injury.

    • skr213 - Nov 6, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      Uhhhh because someone’s going to get hurt *because* they are wearing little plastic shields over their skates???

      • barkar942 - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:49 PM

        It is not about the little plastic shields- it is about the legal ramifications that if someone were to get hurt because the team mandated the use of ANY piece of equipment that is not mandated by the NHLPA or the NHL. It is about who gave the directive- not the piece of equipment.

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