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Entries with the tag: Brittanie Cecil

It’s Been Ten Years Since Young Blue Jackets Fan Was Struck By Puck

from Ian Campbell of 660 News,

It’s been 10 years since the NHL’s first fan death forever changed the way the game is played.

On March 16th, 2002, a slap shot from Columbus Blue Jacket Espen Knutsen was deflected by Calgary Flame Derek Morris with the puck hitting 13-year-old Brittanie Cecil in the head.

According to an exclusive story in The Calgary Sun, Cecil was able to walk to a first aid station and function normally the following day….

Two days later she lost consciousness; doctors discovered the swelling in her brain too late.

Brittanie died later that evening, two days before her 14th birthday….

The NHL mandated netting in all of its buildings three months later in hopes of preventing similar tragedies from ever happening again.

Calgary Sun Sports Columnist and Jack FM morning show co-host Eric Francis calls initial fan complaints about the nets moronic.

“‘I can’t see the game now, it distracts my view of the game’, are you kidding me?” says Francis. “This is something that killed someone before and they’re going to try to protect you and you’re going to try to complain that your view is obstructed?”

read on


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Columbus Blue Jackets, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brittanie+cecil

Closure Reached On The Death Of Brittanie Cecil

from Mike Wagner of the Columbus Dispatch,

An endless stream of faces passed by Jody Naudascher at her daughter’s funeral, but the one she was privately hoping to see, the hockey player with the long, sandy-blond hair, didn’t walk through the door.

Yesterday, almost nine years after 13-year-old Brittanie Cecil died after being struck by a hockey puck, Naudascher finally met the man who had been carrying around his own anguish for the loss of her little girl.

Espen Knutsen, the former Columbus Blue Jackets player who shot the puck that struck Brittanie, embraced the trembling mother the moment he saw her, and the two began the closure that had escaped them both.

“I don’t hold you responsible; I never did,” Naudascher told Knutsen at Nationwide Arena during a private, one-hour meeting. “It was an accident, and you should never have blamed yourself for anything. I wanted to tell you all this back then.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brittanie+cecil, espen+knutsen

Healing Continues To This Day

from Mike Wagner of the Columbus Dispatch,

The brown-eyed, blond-haired eighth-grade cheerleader held up the hockey puck when her family walked into the hospital room.

“Papaw, look,” she said to her grandfather, “I got a souvenir.”

Brittanie Cecil lifted the puck, the one that had struck her in the head as she attended her first National Hockey League game.

The puck flew into the stands at Nationwide Arena when Blue Jackets center Espen Knutsen struck a routine slap shot against the Calgary Flames on March 16, 2002. The puck ricocheted off an opposing player’s stick and struck 13-year-old Brittanie.

Two days later, Brittanie was dead. Knutsen was left sobbing in the Blue Jackets’ locker room, his career beginning to unravel from the emotional fallout.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brittanie+cecil, espen+knutsen


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