Brown worries about head shots

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:12 PM ET

MITCHELL, Ont. -- The Ontario Hockey Associated has mandated that all on-ice officials wear neck guards in the wake of an accident that almost cost linesman Kevin Brown his life.

There was also a call for fighting to be banned.

But Brown -- who had his throat punctured by a skate while he was breaking up a fight in a Junior C game and suffered a stroke in the aftermath -- thinks hockey has a bigger problem.

Brown, who is still recovering, is in full support of the neck guards. But he believes that shots to the head are a bigger issue than fighting.

"It's the head shots," Brown said. "That leads to brain injury ... that is what I am dealing with now. When I was in hospital, the one hit I saw a lot of (on television) was the Cormier hit (Patrice Cormier hit Mikael Tam in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with an elbow.) That's the big push right now, to get rid of head shots."

Brown also believes that whenever a new rink is built, the ice surface should have bigger specifications.

"The bigger ice makes for a quicker game, less physical," he said. "Older, smaller rinks play more to a bang 'em and bruise 'em style."

Brown thinks suspensions should play a big part in cleaning up the game. High school games carry tougher suspensions for fighting than minor hockey games do.

"I have seen kids in an afternoon (school) game play fine, and then referee them that night in minor hockey and they are complete idiots," Brown said.

"Is that because of the tougher suspension for fighting in high school hockey?"


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