MSHSL: Insurance company behind decision not to allow Jablonski on ice

A few people in Minnesota hockey circles were upset that Jack Jablonski was not allowed on the ice to share in the immediate aftermath of Benilde-St. Margaret’s victory in the state Class AA hockey championship. Jablonski was paralyzed in December after he was checked from behind.

It may not surprise many people that behind the decision was an insurance company.

Minnesota State High School League president Dave Stead posted this explanation on the organization’s Facebook page this afternoon:

A number of people have asked questions about why Jack Jablonski was not on the ice for the award ceremony on Saturday night. Jack was not listed as a member of the official roster, but the League staff worked directly with the school and the coaching staff to ensure that Jack could be an important part of his school team before and following each game.

Championship medals are awarded to each member of the team, team managers and coaches. A school can also request additional medals for players, and we accommodate all teams in all sports to ensure that their needs are appropriately addressed in a timely manner.

In order to make sure the $2 million Lifetime Catastrophic Insurance policy the League purchases for each athlete was not at risk, the League’s insurance carrier was contacted. I was informed that if an accident of any type would have occurred, the insurance claim may well have been jeopardized.

The MSHSL joins everyone in Minnesota and beyond in wishing Jack all the best in the future.


  • Jim Shapiro

    Chalk another win for the combined forces of the Almighty Dollar and Irrational Fear!

  • Jonathan Anderson

    Shame on the Minnesota State High School League for suffocating this inspiring true-life story and cowardly hiding behind a thin curtain of lame excuses.

  • ktfoley

    Folks who watched the end of the championship game may have noticed that, when medals were awarded to the staff of the runner-up team, a player collected one for Assistant Coach Pat Schafhauser & skated it over to him on the bench. According to the Pioneer Press, Pat’s been in a wheelchair since his injury in a 1995 hockey game.

    Attentive viewers may have noticed also that Hill-Murray’s student manager and graduating senior Duke Peiper collected the second-place trophy on behalf of the team. According to the same PiPress article, Duke hasn’t skated with the team since his freshman year, following multiple brain surgeries.

    Forty seconds later it was Benilde-St. Margaret’s saga and Jake’s team’s moment. Is it really an issue that he wasn’t on the ice for the awards?

    Jake’s physical fragility is quite real: he skipped the Friday game because his attendance on Thursday brought on the flu. Did Jake need to be on the ice for the awards ceremony? Or did we want him there to fulfill our own sentimental idea of a storybook ending?

  • mramirez

    ^ Jake =/= Jack

  • KTFoley

    Thanks for the correction, mramirez.