Yesterday afternoon, Jordan Boyd said goodbye to his family and friends and left for his first QMJHL training camp in Bathurst, New Brunswick. Little did they know they would be seeing him for the last time. Boyd collapsed on the ice after complaining of stomach discomfort and paramedics tried to revive him. He was pronounced dead at the nearby hospital.
I realize that teams are building themselves to win. I realize that the game has changed tremendously since the 70’s and 80’s, hell even the early 2000s. My point is when will a young body be able to keep up with rigorous training schedules that all these players are forced into?
While I agree that a 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year training schedule produces some top talent, it takes a tremendous toll on the body. Especially at Jordan’s age. The body needs rest. Don’t get me wrong, I know it was his first day and that doctors had cleared him to play but something was clearly overlooked. The body needs proper downtime, the right nutrition and the right to have some fun.
At the same time, these rigorous training schedules are forcing thousands of potential players their careers. Some could be talented beyond their years but if they can’t hack the training, guess what, you’re out and demoted. It could also very well shorten your career just from the aches and pains the body takes.
It’s clear to see the influence that European hockey has had on the North American game. No, I’m not Don Cherry, I’m not bashing it at all. The focus is all about stick handling and what to do with the puck rather then a physical aspect of years past and that, at times is okay.
It might be time to recoil a little bit and bring the game back to basics. Pond hockey, outdoor rinks, players perfecting their skills by having fun. Not through an intense training regimen. At least tone it down if need be.
Anyway, just felt the need to comment and put my two cents in.