T.J. Oshie explains his decision to wear a neck guard.

T.J. Oshie explains his decision to wear a neck guard.

The Washington Capitals star is one of the first NHL players to adopt a neck guard.

Jonathan Larivee

The horrifying death of former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Adam Johnson has already had a significant impact on the hockey community and on Thursday we saw that impact start to reach the highest levels of the sport.

The shocking incident that cost Johnson his life has very clearly affected many who play the sport and the most recent example o this is Washington Capitals star forward T.J. Oshie. Oshie was spotted wearing a neck guard during warmups ahead of the Capitals game against the New York Islanders this week, a neck guard that he would wear through the entire duration of the game.

There was no chance that this was a mere coincidence just days after the passing of Johnson, and following the game the Capitals forward revealed that he had made the decision to wear the added layer of protection for his young children.

"It's actually really comfortable," said Oshie. "You can make your own choices. I made my choice for my kids. I want to stick around for them."

Oshie, who founded the company that made his neck guard, also wanted to make it clear that the product is available to other NHL players as well. Oshie did however stress that the "grown men" who play in the league should be free to make their own decisions regarding the protective equipment, citing that the league has not yet mandated it.

For what it's worth, Oshie claims that after his first shift he stopped noticing he was even wearing the neck guard.