Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A New Issue..

There is a new issue in the NHL which was brought up during the game on NBC on Sunday. Earlier in the week Dan Cleary of the Detroit Red Wings suffered a horrible injury against the Maple Leafs. He was standing out front of the net as he took a rising slap shot to the jaw. He is out indefinitely with a fractured Jaw and also received over 20 stitches to his face. There is a new issue in the NHL regarding the players being required to wear protective visors like the one shown to the left. Many players like Ovechkin, Crosby, Zetterberg, Iginla, and Salanne are already wearing the visors as a personal choice. Most are straight clear while others can be tinted to cut down reflection off the ice. It seems that more and more players coming out of college or the juniors have started to use the visors as they make the transition from full cage to a no cage helmet. I personal love the look of the Visor and have had a helmet (my brothers old Helmet) I would skate around with in my driveway to give myself a pro feel as I grew up.

But it is coming to a point where there have been a lot injuries with high sticking and pucks coming off the ice and striking players in the face. And this isn't just for players. Officials also are being considered to wear visors as well. In two games this last week two officials had pretty serious injuries. One was during a game where an official was trying to skate with players along the boards and a check was being made. The player was up ended and a skate caught the official in the face breaking his nose and cutting him pretty badly. A second happened on Sunday as an official caught a cleared puck to the upper back as he turned his head and face away just in time.

Some believe that the visor will prove to be a great help with reducing injuries to the eyes and nose. But others feel if a visor is mandatory for all players that fighting needs to be outlawed due to the injuries to the hands and wrists and even faces of the players fighting. I have seen plenty of players with visors fight hard on the ice. Most of the time the helmets come off. So I do not see the Visor being a factor.

But I do agree that the Visor is a definite tool that should be utilized more often in the NHL. Even though it is still player preference it could most definitely cut down the risk of injury to the face while on the ice.

So, I feel next weeks poll has been decided for us. Visor, Cage or nothing at all on the helmets. Or even go back to old time hockey with no helmets at all. I will see what you guys think!

Thanks for reading!

Matty D.


Jeffers said...

Matty D-

I enjoyed reading your comments, and understand why people may think that a cage is necessary. It really is not "a new issue" though. The only way to prevent sport related injuries is to not play sports!

As a life long hockey fan, I can recall only a few instances where a half visor would have helped save an injury. The one that really stands out is when The Captain Stevie Y got a puck to the eye... ouch. I mean OUCH! You look at all the games that have been played over the past ten (or twenty) years, and count the number of times a player has gotten severly hurt by a puck/ skate/ stick to the face, I really do not think the number is big enough to make it an issue the NHL should focus on (they should focus on gaining more fans and keeping the Devils from winning the cup year after year). I would think that a puck/ stick/ skate can get under a half visor and do quite a lot of damage too... and I think that it is unrealistic that the league will adopt a new policy mandating full masks for all players based on a few instances of injury...

While a tinted half visor sure looks cool, so does a black eye and a few missing teeth, eh?

Nikki said...

I think it should be required to wear the visor for safety. Rather than get a broken jaw I would wear a clear plastic piece on my helmet!

b said...

It's a real tightrope the NHL walks. The rough aspects of the game are .. well .. part of the game. To go the visor/cage route takes away some of the mystique and culture of the game. On the other hand, one serious (life changing or fatal) accident and the NHL will be second guessed into the next decade. It's a tough call.

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