Posted by on January 14, 2022 4:09 pm
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WATCH: ‘Sticks out for Teddy’ movement sweeps North America to honor hockey player

Sticks Out for Teddy Balkind Washington Examiner

WATCH: ‘Sticks out for Teddy’ movement sweeps North America to honor hockey player

Heather Hamilton January 14, 03:12 PMJanuary 14, 03:12 PM iFrame Object

Hockey communities across North America are placing sticks outside their doors to honor the life of New Canaan, Connecticut, high school player Teddy Balkind after a skate cut his neck in what has been ruled an accidental play during a game last week.

While playing against Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut, on Jan. 6, Balkind, a member of the St. Luke’s High School team, fell to the ice as another player nearby couldn’t stop and collided with him.

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Balkind was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to Capt. Mark Zuccerella of the Greenwich Police.

The Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has now reportedly ruled his death an accident.

HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY PLAYER DIES AFTER SUFFERING INJURY ON THE ICE

Hockey players and families have taken to social media to make sense of Balkind’s death, using the now-popular hashtag #SticksOutForTeddy to honor his life.

Sticks Out for Teddy facebook post

Justin Williams — three-time National Hockey League Stanley Cup Champion, with the Carolina Hurricanes (2006) and the Los Angeles Kings (2012 and 2014), and current assistant coach for the Junior Hurricanes 10U AA and 13U AAA teams — told the Washington Examiner Balkind’s death has shaken many in both professional and youth hockey.

“When it happens to someone in the hockey community, it hits home a little bit more for everybody,” Williams said. “We’re just doing our best … to show that we support Teddy and the hockey community, as well.”

The Junior Hurricanes 10U AA team, based out of Raleigh, North Carolina, made stickers for the players’ helmets in Balkind’s honor.

Junior Hurricanes’ Sticks Out for Teddy Sticker post

“We want our team to know that we are part of a larger community, and when someone is hurting, we want to make sure that everyone is reaching out and supporting the community as a family,” said Junior Canes’s 10U AA Head Coach Cody Staves.

Players told the Washington Examiner they want to remember Balkind’s love for hockey.

“We did it to respect [Balkind’s] love of the game,” said Junior Canes 10U AA defenseman John Nelson.

Junior Canes 10U AA forward Samuel Gallant added that “the sticker means we are all family.”

Balkind’s death has stirred discussions regarding whether neck guards should be required across all levels of play.

“I think it brings awareness to player safety,” Staves said. “We’re all really taking a risk. It’s sobering in that way.”

Fellow hockey player and friend of Balkind, Samuel Brande, started a petition to raise awareness about the need for neck guards.

Neck Guard Petition

“I lost one of my best friends due to lack of player safety rules in USA hockey,” Brande wrote on his petition site. “Nobody needs to lose a loved one or a life in a avoidable accident.”

As of Friday morning, Brande’s petition had nearly 73,000 signatures in just six days.

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Whether it is placing sticks out, wearing a sticker, or generating discussion about safety, Staves said it is important for young players to know their voices matter.

“If our players get in the habit now of supporting and knowing that their voices and actions have an impact,” Staves said. “I think that’s going to be positive.”

© 2022 Washington Examiner

Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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