VANCOUVER – As the Vancouver Canucks got back on the ice at Rogers Arena for the first day of their training camp this morning, the team announced the installation of a new “curved glass system” that is expected to increase player safety.
Numerous fans lined up outside the arena on rainy Saturday morning for a chance to get inside and get a peek of the team, which is back from summer holidays after a historic, yet unsuccessful run for the Stanley Cup last season.
While the Canucks managed to avoid serious concussions during the grueling playoff stretch, concerns about stanchion hits were raised after Montreal Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty was slammed into the glass by Boston Bruins’ Zdeno Chara during a game in March. Pacioretty was taken off the ice on a stretcher with a severe concussion and neck injury.
The new glass system is supposed to prevent that.
It uses a curved piece of Acrylic glass in combination with movable posts to shield the crowd and protect the player from blunt force trauma. The curved glass prevents the sudden stop of the player by deflecting him from the corner, and movable posts are supposed to help absorb the energy from the hit.
Canucks say the original concept was developed by members of the Canucks Sports and Entertainment engineering department.
“Last season, our Director, Engineering Al Hutchings and Supervisor, Conversions Shawn Campbell took the initiative to discuss and create a system that will now be used League wide,” said GM Mike Gillis in a release.
The concept was developed back in March. A prototype was tested by team, and further changes were made before it was presented to the NHL, which later adopted the idea for all of its 30 NHL arenas.