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Should Visors Be Mandatory In The NHL

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Marc Staals horrible injury last night has re-sparked the debate on whether visors should be mandatory in the NHL. I personally feel they should be because history shows that hockey players arent that smart or are very stubborn. I have played a lot of hockey and have worn a visor for years and dont feel it inhibits me in any way.

NHL players dont wanna wear visors, they wear shorter gloves exposing their wrists and forearms. Kevlar socks and armbands have been available for years and hardly anyone uses them. Neck protectors have been around even longer and I cant think of a single NHL who wears one yet EVERY single NHL player wear shin pads, protecting apparently the most vital of all body parts- The Shin.

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I say no, but as with the other PSE you mentioned, I have a feeling that soon all of it will be. There is just no reason why they shouldn't be. Right now in the USA most kids grow up using the ear guards on their helmets and neck guards, it will ne just a matter of time until it is SOP for our kids to start using all the stuff you mentioned so by time they get to college, junior, NHL it won't affect their play at all because they grew up with it and would have learned the game with it from day one. Much like the helmet now, NHL players wouldn't even think about ever playing without it, and soon it will that way for the visor, Kevlar, neck guards, etc...none of which, as you said, restricts play at all...

You would think that a huge company like Under Armor would partner with the NHL and lessor leagues, even into college levels and develop a body suit (or shirt pant combo) than has the Kevlar in it. With all the recent injuries due to skates, sticks and pucks, it's a no brainer...and speaking of brainer, the concussion is a whole other conundrum...

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Marc Staals horrible injury last night has re-sparked the debate on whether visors should be mandatory in the NHL. I personally feel they should be because history shows that hockey players arent that smart or are very stubborn. I have played a lot of hockey and have worn a visor for years and dont feel it inhibits me in any way.

NHL players dont wanna wear visors, they wear shorter gloves exposing their wrists and forearms. Kevlar socks and armbands have been available for years and hardly anyone uses them. Neck protectors have been around even longer and I cant think of a single NHL who wears one yet EVERY single NHL player wear shin pads, protecting apparently the most vital of all body parts- The Shin.

I remember Sami Salo saying in an interview that he wore a neck protector for a while but quit because he got tired of his teammates making fun of him. One would think that after what happened to Zednik the attitudes would've changed.

Maybe this has something to do with the body language of when you're facing someone with your nose up giving the impression that you're not afraid to the extent that you even keep your most vulnerable part visible and uncovered. This is just me thinking out loud because in reality I have no idea why hockey players talk about safety and wear some protection but at the same time aren't interested in wearing some very sginificant pieces of equipment. The idea of (male) players wearing full face masks would make most hockey fans laugh.

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Visors should be mandatory for all players entering the league. They're already use to them. There is not a single valid argument of why they shouldn't be mandatory. Players use to be against helmets, but sometimes you need to protect played from themselves.

Carman, Nev and jthiel86 like this

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I remember Sami Salo saying in an interview that he wore a neck protector for a while but quit because he got tired of his teammates making fun of him. One would think that after what happened to Zednik the attitudes would've changed.

Maybe this has something to do with the body language of when you're facing someone with your nose up giving the impression that you're not afraid to the extent that you even keep your most vulnerable part visible and uncovered. This is just me thinking out loud because in reality I have no idea why hockey players talk about safety and wear some protection but at the same time aren't interested in wearing some very sginificant pieces of equipment. The idea of (male) players wearing full face masks would make most hockey fans laugh.

Really? It makes me more laugh to see players risk their health by not using all the available protection.

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I remember Sami Salo saying in an interview that he wore a neck protector for a while but quit because he got tired of his teammates making fun of him. One would think that after what happened to Zednik the attitudes would've changed.

Maybe this has something to do with the body language of when you're facing someone with your nose up giving the impression that you're not afraid to the extent that you even keep your most vulnerable part visible and uncovered. This is just me thinking out loud because in reality I have no idea why hockey players talk about safety and wear some protection but at the same time aren't interested in wearing some very sginificant pieces of equipment. The idea of (male) players wearing full face masks would make most hockey fans laugh.

Great story. Shows how hockey, as much as any other sport, really celebrates old school machismo, and is slow to adapt to modern realities. I remember a similar story about Tony Granato in the 90's after he had some concussion problems, and players made fun of him for wearing a thicker helmet. Guys like Gretzky wore those Jofa helmets that were basically a thin piece of plastic with only enough padding to make it comfortable. They weren't even HECC certified. A lot of players they asked about it basically said that "vanity" and not wanting to get made fun of were the primary reasons they didn't wear more equipment.

Occasionally, you'd hear a guy say that they couldn't see as well through them, but given that 61% of the league now wears some type of shield (including Crosby and some of the highest skill players), that's obviously mind over matter.

I would mandate it to "save players from themselves", the same way helmets needed to be mandated, and even then, Craig MacTavish was still allowed to risk cracking his head open into the mid-90's. People say it's overreaction to a freak accident, but that's absurd. There's been SO many close calls. Brendan Shanahan almost lost an eye when he was with the Devils. Yzerman had the orbital bone fracture and started wearing one full-time afterwards. And the Hossa/Berard incident wasn't a "near miss", that really did wreck Berard's career.

Will it prevent eye injuries from ever happening? Probably not. But I see no that it would harm the game in any other way, and I think it could only help. Henrik Sedin got absolutely rocked in the face by a shot late last night, from almost the same angle as the M. Staal shot. It stunned him and knocked him on his feet, but he got up and was perfectly fine afterwards, and I think the only difference was the visor.

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not to stray away from the NHL but it wasn't mandatory in NASCAR to wear what's called the HANS device until they lost Dale Earnhardt in 2001. Sure it was always an option and available, but drivers hated wearing it and drivers like Earnhardt and Tony Stewart among others refused to do so. Even after his death the device met with a lot of resistance, but today there isn't a driver who would think twice about NOT wearing it. NASCAR and US Motorsports just made it mandatory within all sanctioned stock events and the "kids" "grew up" using the device and now it is like second nature to them...even the old guys that were around before 2001 now have been wearing in for over a decade and it has become a part of their car, not just a cumbersome restraint system...

The same would happen with the NHL if they adopted the visor and Kevlar protection, it about 5 or so years, nobody would even think about what it was like without it...



who was it back in the early 90's that wore what looked like football shoulder pads with a protector that was behind his helmet? If I figure it out and find a picture, I will post it....I think he played for the Sabres, but am not sure....

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They had to enforce helmets so I dont see the visor being much different. They can grandfather them in just like with helmets making all new players wear them and eventually the visorless helmet will become a thing of the past.

Like someone else mentioned this wont protect the players 100% but it will certainly help.

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This rule must be grandfathered in. All rookies should be required to wear visors from now on. It is a requirement in the CHL and so it shouldn't hurt them to keep doing what they have been doing their entire life. After 10 years the league will be predominantly visor wearing. If players want to fight they can take the bucket off - plain and simple. Looking at what happened to Karlsson, if I was an owner I would insist that players change their socks to kevlar cut resistant socks. There is literally no difference in the feel of the sock. Players who don't wear socks should consider it cause thats just nasty lol.

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Found it....Rick Vaive, I knew it was a Sabre...he didn't use it his entire career, but did a lot near the end. Referring to Salo's story, I wonder if Rick got made fun of a bit for his neck restraint.

vaiverick1990.jpg

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Visors should be mandatory for all players entering the league. They're already use to them. There is not a single valid argument of why they shouldn't be mandatory. Players use to be against helmets, but sometimes you need to protect played from themselves.

100% agreed. The risk of an eye injury far outweighs anything negative regarding wearing visors.

They should be grandfathered in soon enough, all these kids coming into the league are used to wearing them now.

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I would love to see more use them but I don't like the Mandatory thing the whole big brother is watching you thing

Not so much a big brother watching you, but more like the old "it's not if, but when..." adage....

BTW, I see you say you are in Ludington, we are about ready to move to Hart Township. We bought a foreclosure back in August and have been fixing it up while the kids finish school here in Woodhaven. We plan our final move in June/July. West Michigan is so beautiful!

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FWIW E said he took his visor off because of facial lacerations the visor gave him in the AHL. I like the current system in place. They are mandatory in the CHL and AHL, but optional at the NHL level. Therefore, each player is used to use a visor, but has the option when they enter the NHL.

wings1110 and Hockeymom1960 like this

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FWIW E said he took his visor off because of facial lacerations the visor gave him in the AHL. I like the current system in place. They are mandatory in the CHL and AHL, but optional at the NHL level. Therefore, each player is used to use a visor, but has the option when they enter the NHL.

And Bertuzzi says

“Its a no-brainer, I think all the kids coming up, anyone coming into the league the past 4-5 years, it should be mandatory to have it. I believe in it. Same thing happened with the helmet - it was grandfathered in".

It really is a no brainer now, and should be grand fathered in the next few years. Ericsson's thoughts on it make no sense, facial lacerations which are pretty uncommon, or safety from having your career derailed because you can't see. There are tons of examples of players missing an enormous amount of time because of a puck/stick close to the eye, Pronger, Berard etc. and others like Lidstrom that came way too close to happening. And there are only a few examples of visors hurting people, and the examples of visors causing a career ending injury? Well let's just say it's not close to not using one.

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And Bertuzzi says

It really is a no brainer now, and should be grand fathered in the next few years. Ericsson's thoughts on it make no sense, facial lacerations which are pretty uncommon, or safety from having your career derailed because you can't see. There are tons of examples of players missing an enormous amount of time because of a puck/stick close to the eye, Pronger, Berard etc. and others like Lidstrom that came way too close to happening. And there are only a few examples of visors hurting people, and the examples of visors causing a career ending injury? Well let's just say it's not close to not using one.

It's one of the many safety futures that players can choose to use, and it takes it a step further because almost all new players have been mandated to use it at lower levels. What should be mandatory? Visors, neck guards, kevlar socks, kevlar wrist bands, cuff length on gloves, etc? Where do we decide on which to mandate? There are plenty of extra safety features that players choose not to wear. I don't see why these players, being paid millions of dollars to play in the NHL, should not be able to decide if they want to wear a visor. If you want to argue the issue from the NHL GM/Owner's point of view for financial arguments, I can understand the argument, but I don't see why the players should not have a choice. IMO neck gaurds, softer pads, and mouthgaurds are more important.

If visors are made mandatory, I would like to see a removable visor for fighting. I don't know if any company have experimented with this, but it would prevent a lot of hand injuries.

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I'm in favor of it. If they do go this route it should be like when they made Helmets mandatory, existing players have the option if they want to use it or not, but any new players entering the league would be required to wear them. I remember earlier memories of Craig Mactavish skating around helmetless as he was the last of the generation to not wear one by choice.

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Yes to visors and they should all put a chin guard, like yo see for those that play with jaw/mouth issues. That single bar would lower concussions with shots to the head.

Laugh - I don't think Pat LaFontaine would care today, nor Lindros, Deadmarsh or many others who careers ended early by concussion or facial injuries.

Bryan Berard, a NHL #1 nearly lost his eye at 23. He played with 20/400 vision in that eye.

Visors are mandatory in the AHL and 68% in the NHL wear them today.

http://deadspin.com/5988850/will-the-nhl-mandate-visors-before-someone-loses-an-eye-and-a-career

I JUST do not understand how the players or owners do not move to protect the players with equipment changes clean up the dirty play. A guy like Matt Cooke is putting more than star players at risk (since the is not enough motivation) but organizational success, which translates to $$$$ lost.

Edited by heyfolks
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If visors are made mandatory, I would like to see a removable visor for fighting. I don't know if any company have experimented with this, but it would prevent a lot of hand injuries.

I think it would be a lot more reasonable to just remove the helmet before fighting. Penalize players that don't.

WINGS & FLOW and 55fan like this

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The more ARMOR these guys get, the more injuries will happen. They need to make the rink A LOT bigger. 15 feet wider, 30 feet longer. That's how they can make the game safer. Its just fish in a barrel right npw.

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I think it would be a lot more reasonable to just remove the helmet before fighting. Penalize players that don't.

Perfect idea!! One of my friends that played in the O always took his off first and spun it on the ice before he threw down........before it stoped the other guy was done!

Hockeymom1960 and Resetti like this

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