This story originally appeared on pittsburghhockeynow.com
It was rather inconspicuous, really.
Looked somewhat like the turtleneck that players sometimes wear beneath their game sweaters.
But the black fabric that covered the necks of four players — Erik Karlsson, Marcus Pettersson, Lars Eller and Ryan Graves — during the Pittsburgh Penguins’ practice Thursday at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex was not a fashion statement.
Or even something intended to keep them warm.
Instead, its purpose was to limit the chances of them suffering a catastrophic injury because of a cut by a skate blade.
The early consensus: The neck guard was somewhat uncomfortable and certainly can — and should — be improved, but the protection it provides makes it worthwhile.
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