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NHL players, researchers take hard look at helmets
Question of the Day
He was so concerned about suffering yet another concussion, Mueller opted for an Easton model that cradles the base of his skull and safeguards the top of his temples.
Mueller, who missed all last season with a head injury, feels safe on the ice _ almost.
For all the league has done to crack down on hits to the head, Mueller doesn’t think that’s going to cut back on concussions that much.
In his mind, stronger and faster players decked out in more protective gear only makes concussion-causing collisions inevitable, no matter how much better the helmets are.
“Let’s be real: If you want to take out hits to the head, why are we wearing Terminator-sized shoulder pads?” Mueller said after a recent practice. “If you’re coming in with your shoulders and all this padding, it really doesn’t matter if you have the best helmet or the weakest helmet.”
“It was tough to watch,” Mueller said.
Researcher Blaine Hoshizaki viewed the horrific hits over and over with a scientific curiosity.
As director of the Neurotrauma Impact Science Laboratory at the University of Ottawa, Hoshizaki simulates in his lab the blows NHL players and their helmets absorb.
With the aid of a crash-test dummy, along with a metal rod to replicate the hits, Hoshizaki recreates a three-dimensional computerized model of the stresses on the brain.
Later, in his lab, Hoshizaki compared the two hits.
By John McAfee
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