Hockey equipment has progressively gotten much larger over the years. Though this can help to prevent certain injuries, but what a lot of people do not realize is that these extra bulky ice hockey shoulder pads and elbow pads are causing some very serious head injuries when you compare them to the old school ice hockey shoulder pads from the past.
Just a few decades ago the shoulder pads that were being worn by hockey players in even the most physical leagues were small hockey shoulder pads that offer just enough padding to protect your shoulders well. These days however, many youth hockey and adult hockey players are overprotected in terms of what they wear on their shoulders and elbows and in check ice hockey leagues this is a recipe for disaster. Ice hockey shoulder pads now come with incredibly hard and thick shoulder caps that players often lead with when going to make a hit on another player. Sure, these shoulder pads are great for preventing injuries to the shoulder, but unfortunately they can be very dangerous to your competitors.
Obviously the ice hockey shoulder pad should provide sufficient protection, but at a certain point hockey equipment manufacturers need to realize that you can have too much protection on your shoulders. If everybody wore the old school shoulder pads of our hockey forefathers, yes there might be a few more shoulder injuries, but on a positive note, there would also be less concussions. Is it likely that hockey players will go back to the hockey shoulder pads of old? Probably not. But it is something that hockey players should have in the back of their mind. They should realize that they do have a responsibility to try and check opposing players by leading with their shoulder and not making direct contact with the head. But it is also important to realize that all hockey players are different sizes and completely eliminating hits to the head is next to impossible. Ultimately the responsibility lies on each hockey player to keep their head up and not put themselves in dangerous situations.
Of course, shoulder pads and elbow pads are necessary to wear as a hockey player. So when you do purchase your hockey equipment, just keep in mind that you want to be well protected, but you do not want to put opposing players in danger when you wear too many pads that are simply too hard and thick to provide any real benefit to the player using them, and quite simply can do a ton of damage to players that get hit near the head with that equipment.