Wednesday, September 23, 2009Courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications and WHDH Boston
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Hockey Hall-of-Famer Mark Messier stopped by Bright Hockey Center Saturday morning to talk hockey-and hockey safety-with members of the Harvard men's hockey team.
A television crew from WHDH, Boston's NBC affiliate, was on hand for the visit. Click here to view their report.
Messier spoke to team members a bout The Messier Project, a collaboration between he and Cascade Sports aimed at addressing the issue of concussions in ice hockey. The campaign is an all-encompassing grassroots and educational initiative which aims to change priorities in the sport by encouraging athletes to play smart and choose the best protective equipment.
The Crimson is the first team to wear the new M11 helmet, developed by the Messier Project. The players began wearing the helmet at captain's practices last week and will continue to wear it throughout the season in an effort to protect the themselves from concussion.
"We had an chance to get the very best protection for our players in terms of concussions, and we jumped at the opportunity," said Ted Donato, the Robert D. Ziff '88 Head Coach of Harvard Men's Ice Hockey. "We are honored to work with Mark Messier, himself a lifelong leader, throughout the upcoming season."
"A helmet should be the number one piece of equipment on a players list - and it should offer the best protection possible," said Messier, a former New York Rangers teammate of Donato. "Harvard has long been a leader in the evolution of the sport, and I am extremely proud that Coach Donato and the Harvard team share The Messier Project's passion for this important cause."
Messier visited Bright prior to Saturday's captain's practice at the invitation of Donato and Crimson equipment manager John O'Donnell. Messier got feedback on the helmet from the Crimson and took some time to share with the team some of the hockey knowledge that helped him win six Stanley Cups and two Hart Trophies as the National Hockey League's most valuable player.