UPDATE: Jablonski Family Says Son Won't Walk Again

By KBJR News 1

January 4, 2012 Updated Jan 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northlands NewsCenter)
-- According to Jack Jablonski's Caring Bridge website, a surgery to fuse his spinal cord injury wasn't enough to help him walk or skate again.

Jablonski's family says "Jack has limited mobility and no movement in his lower body. As we feared, he will not be able to walk or skate. This news is devastating to Jack and everyone who loves him. Our hope and dream is that he will be able to prove this prognosis wrong."

The Minnesota State High School league is urging ice hockey coaches, officials, and players to revisit awareness about checking from behind.

This comes after a Benilde-St. Margaret's sophomore was hospitalized with a severe spinal cord after being checked headfirst into the boards.

Jack Jabonski is expected to have surgery sometime today at a Hennepin County Medical Center to repair two vertebrae in his neck.

In a memo sent to every high school coach, official and athletic director, the MSHSL is recommending coaches to remind their players daily to eliminate checking from behind.

It goes on to say players should be practicing safe and proper checking techniques in practice, along with coaches reminding players every game to be smart and stay away from hits that can lead to spinal cord injuries.

Head Hilltopper Hockey Coach Brendan Flaherty feels that learning the correct way to check through youth hockey will translate in a positive way once kids get to high school and the speed and intensity picks up

"I think there defiantly needs to be better emphisis on the technique of checking without question. You see a lot of high elbows, the hands up and you rarely see good hip checks and solid shoulder checks anymore"

The refs and captains do meet before every game and discuss safety.

The memo wants officials to address checking from behind in every one of these meetings.

Written for the web by: Zach Vavricka
zvavricka@northlandsnewscenter.com