The trend setter
In 2018, a new rule came into effect for three junior hockey leagues in B.C.
The Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL), Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL), and the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) now require that 16-20 year old players wear full face cages instead of visors.
They’ve played a full season with the cages but whether the change has made the game safer overall is being contested.
One coach pushed for the cage rule and made his team comply a full season before it’s official implementation.
Head Coach Brad Tippett says it was an easy decision to make.
“As we moved along the process the question moved from why would we do this to why wouldn’t we do this?”
Brad Tippett is the brother of current Edmonton Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett, and a former pro hockey player himself. Tippett says he reached out to his colleagues and teammates about the potential for full facial shields.
“We polled a lot of people we talked to a lot of people from minor hockey people to a former NHL General Manager and connections that I had, and it’s funny because he was the one that was all for it.”