Archive - Nov 15, 2011

Archive - Nov 15, 2011

Sudden Death of 16-Year-Old Hockey Player Sparks Debate over Safety

EDMONTON--In the National Hockey League last season, 24 of its 30 teams blocked over 550 shots during the 82-game regular season. It's become an essential facet of team defense at the pro level: Sacrificing the body, and one's own safety, to deflect a speeding puck, hoping that a player's equipment sufficiently protects them.

Kyle Fundytus, 16, played defense for the Don Wheaton Midget AA team in Edmonton. Last weekend, he slid to the ice to block a slap-shot from an opponent, something his coach, Nathan Papirny, said he'd do with regularity. What happened next, according to Papirny, was a "once in a 10 million" accident that cost Fundytus his life. The puck struck Fundytus in the neck, sending him into cardiac arrest.

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