MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A family devastated by their son’s injury issued a call to action on Thursday.

They want to change the way the game of hockey is played so that no other family has to be in their shoes.

Jack Jablonski’s spinal cord was severed during a hockey game two weeks ago, leaving him paralyzed. His parents, younger brother and high school coach were among those who called for changes in the game.

The family has also rolled out “Jack’s Pledge,” a pledge they hope every youth hockey player takes to make the game safer.

Leslie Jablonski described the heartbreaking moments after Jack was hit.

“I went out on the ice and he told me ‘Mom I can’t move I almost collapsed on top of him,'” she said. “In Jack’s case it’s too late, but it’s never too late to stop this from happening in the future.”

Surrounded by more than two dozen hockey jerseys gifts to Jack, including from some of the biggest names in the game, the Jablonski’s said Thursday they want to make sure USA Hockey, referees, coaches and players follow the rules and make hockey safer.

“If we don’t do anything there is going to be a parent up here 12 months from now in my shoes, in Leslie’s shoes and we can’t let that happen,” said Mike Jablonski.

Ken Pauly, the high school hockey coach at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, said he has already seen a change in the way referees are calling games.

“There are a few things called, called back in our games that I know would not have been called two weeks ago ,” Pauly said.

Max Jablonski, Jack’s 13-yar-old brother, said Jack is in good spirits, even offering him advice before the news conference in telling him jokingly, “Don’t screw up.”

Max said the support from across the world is a huge boost for Jack.

“I was lucky enough to visit the Wild locker room, every one of them asked to say hi to Jack or get better and it’s just touching how many people are really thinking and praying for him,” Max said.

When Max now takes to the ice, it’s with a new purpose.

“I am just going to work as hard as I can to make my brother proud,” Max said.

Also speaking at the news conference in support of a safer hockey was Minensota hockey great Lou Nanne. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty has also signed on to support their safety campaign, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar was at the news conference saying she plans to advocate for stem cell research, research that could provide breakthroughs for spinal cord injuries like Jablonski’s.

Comments (7)
  1. Rockfish says:

    Maybe just happy to be alive? Maybe just a happy person. I like his attitude.

  2. Tom says:

    Good attitude Jack! Make the best of this path. You have life!!

  3. Lori says:

    Because he’s a spectacular kid and a fighter with a positive attitude. In the days, weeks, and years ahead I hope he can keep that smile and strength. My nephew with a spinal injury from a sledding accident was always smiling and is still amazing us with his look on life.

  4. HockeyMom says:

    I know all 4 of my boys will sign the pledge!!! Look at that smile Jack, that beautiful smile, you may not be able to walk right now but your spirit sure isn’t broken!

    What an inspiring young man!

  5. abd says:

    Are you kidding with this comment? I can’t decide if you are trying to be provocative, or just plain ignorant. He may never walk again, but that doesn’t mean he can’t live a fufilling, productive and happy life. It may be more of a challenge, but absolutely a life worth living. He seems to have the right attitude, learn from him.

  6. Hmmm says:

    I think Jack is such a strong kid and inspiring to everyone. Way to go Jack! Keep on keeping on!

  7. jackactionhero says:

    This boy is already more of a man, and has more courage and heart, than many 40 year olds I know.
    Keep it up, Jack.

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