NHL Mandates Safety Netting

Archived from 2001-02 season.

NHL teams

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday mandated that safety netting be installed above the glass in the corners and behind the nets in all 30 arenas around the league.

The decision follows the death of Brittanie Cecil, who was hit by a deflected slap shot last March 16 at a Columbus Blue Jackets game. She died two days later after an injury to an artery in her neck caused internal bleeding, the first documented death of a fan from being struck by a puck at an NHL game.

"In response to the Brittanie Cecil tragedy, the National Hockey League has spent the past several months in comprehensive study of the arena and spectator environment at our games," Bettman said. "While the analysis confirmed that our arenas are safe, the determination was made to take additional measures that would reduce the incidence of pucks entering the stands."

At its meeting Thursday, the NHL's Board of Governors ordered installation of the nets as well as standardizing the height of the glass around the rink to a minimum of 5 feet.

The average height of the netting is expected to be approximately 18 feet.

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