After the 2001-02
On March 16, 2002, 13-year-old Brittanie Cecil was attending a
At the owners' meetings after that season, the league instituted a policy — protective netting in front of the crowd behind each goal.
The nets begin at the curve of the boards and extend about 18 feet high above the boards and are meant to prevent the deflected slap shots from entering the stands.
The move was met with controversy at the time as some fans thought the nets would ruin the experience of watching a game.
"After three minutes people won't know it's there," Commissioner
Bettman's words turned out to be truer than he might have thought. The nets have become as ingrained in the NHL fan experience as giant video boards and sweaters.
The nets haven't prevented all injuries.
Two fans recently sued the United Center in 2014 over injuries they sustained during playoff games. One fan, Gerald Green, was struck in the head during a game against the