Trending Topics is a column that looks at the week in hockey, occasionally according to Twitter. If you're only going to comment to say how stupid Twitter is, why not just go have a good cry for the slow, sad death of your dear internet instead?
Hockey is one hell of a dangerous sport.
You have giant men moving really quickly around on rock-hard ice with little knives on their feet and weapons in their hand, surrounded by hard glass and even harder boards. While they do that, other huge guys, also with knived feet and sticks with blades on them are trying to knock them into the ice and the boards and the glass, also at high speeds, as hard as they possibly can.
Sometimes, those other huge guys also punch the first huge guys in the face. Wow. That's really dangerous, and it doesn't even count when accidents happen, as they so often do.
The latest of these incidents was Matt Cooke stepping on Erik Karlsson's Achilles tendon a little more than a week ago, putting the defending Norris Trophy winner on the shelf for the season and sparking an absurd amount of outrage because Cooke clearly obviously plainly meant to do it.
But another thing it sparked: Everyone noting how this particularly gruesome injury was also particularly avoidable, had Karlsson just been wearing a pair of kevlar socks. If he had been, his Achilles tendon might still have gotten a bit nicked up — that's what happens when a 200-pound man accidentally steps on your ankle with a knife strapped to his foot — but he sure as hell wouldn't be done for the season and facing a tough rehab.
As a consequence of the hockey world all of a sudden realizing there's an easy way to prevent this kind of injury from happening — namely, picking up a phone and ordering some socks from the company that makes them and then putting them on when you play hockey — it seems the entire NHL is now trying the socks out. And we've had to suffer through the requisite trend-pieces about these players marveling at how much these socks will help keep them off the long-term injured reserve as though this should come as news to anyone. I wonder if, when the NHL made helmets mandatory for 1979-80, guys like Mike Bossy sat around telling reporters, "Jeepers, this big thing of plastic and foam on my head really makes my head feel safe!"
The Detroit Red Wings, for example, now have more than a few players adopting them, and also wearing kevlar shirts. George McPhee dropped off a whole crate of them at a Capitals' practice. Most of the Anaheim Ducks were already on board, but the few holdouts are making the switch as well. Since Karlsson got hurt, 10 more Predators have also started wearing them. Yesterday, the Jets' Zach Redmond got a cut on the back of his leg just above where the kevlar socks he wears ended, which is a tough break.
"[T]here's no real point in not wearing them," Ryan Getzlaf told the Orange County Register.
And yet, it took a superstar player having an Achilles tendon nearly severed for everyone to say, "Wow, hey, maybe we should start wearing these things that could save our asses big-time if the unexpected happens!" I'll never understand it, I guess.
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