After taking a dangerous blow to the head from Jannik Hansen in the third period that forced star forward Marian Hossa off the ice for the remainder of the game during Tuesday night’s victory over Vancouver, the Blackhawks equipment manager has questioned his decision to place a bulls-eye on the back of the Slovak All-Star’s helmet for the past several seasons.
Dale Franklin, who is responsible for picking out the proper protective gear for Hossa to use during games, told reporters, “When Hossa was concussed by a blatantly dangerous hit by Raffi Torres during the playoffs last year, I just assumed that it was because Torres is a notoriously dirty player, and Hossa happened to get in the way. But now, after seeing the same thing happen last night, I’m starting to wonder if I should give Hossa a helmet that doesn’t have a prominent bulls-eye on the back of it. I can’t say it’s encouraging these hits, but it certainly isn’t helping.”
Franklin also admitted that Hossa’s safety might be impeded by the special jersey he was given, which instead of a number simply has an arrow pointing upwards and the words, “Hit here, hard.”
By Jeff GoodSmith