Saturday, October 08, 2005


NHL: Visors - Why is there a debate?

Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin will only *now* consider wearing a visor full-time, thanks to getting a puck in the eye and coming dangerously close to losing an eye.

Mattias Ohlund didn't wear a visor until he nearly lost his vision do to an errent puck. Now, he wears one full time.
Pavol Demitra didn't wear a visor until a few hits from behind in the board left his eyes looking black like those of a raccoon. Now, he wears a visor full time.
Bryan Berard didn't wear a visor until an errant Marian Hossa stick destroyed one of his eyes for all time. Now, he wears a visor full time. Oh, and Mats Sundin saw this injury close up as Berard was his teammate at the time.
Steve Yzerman never used to wear a visor until he almost lost an eye. Now, he wears a visor full time.

Get the picture?

Why does it take a drastic, life-altering injury to clue in these players to WEAR A FRICKIN' VISOR!!

Sundin on wearing a visor: "Yeah, I think so, I think I've used all my good breaks," Sundin said Friday, meeting reporters for the first time since getting hit in the left eye with a puck seven minutes into Wednesday's season opener. "I've had some close calls with my eyes before."

"Definitely when I start playing I'm going to have to wear one for sure and hopefully I can continue it. That's my goal, for sure."

That's your goal?! Why does it have to be a frickin' goal with you? What's so hard about wearing a visor? Are you afraid Don Cherry will make fun of you?

Of course, leave it to the NHLPA to bring out the "Personal Choice" line. As if making them wear visors will infringe on their personal freedoms as is a Fascist state.

The league has long wanted to make visors mandatory, but can't do so without the blessing of the NHL Players' Association because it's a collectively bargained issue. The union has held player votes on the subject in the past and everytime the overwhelming response is that players want to reserve the right to make a personal choice on the matter.

"Our members have always felt strongly that wearing a visor is a matter of individual preference, and we respect and support their right to make a personal choice," said NHLPA spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon. "That said, the NHLPA continues to seek feedback on safety matters from our membership."
What kind of union doesn't care about the personal safety of its members? Oh, right, the NHLPA Guild (rolls eyes).

How about wearing a seatbelt? Maybe we should let people have "Personal Choice" when it comes to wearing a seatbelt. Who cares if they suffer death or more severe accidents in a car crash, at least they'll be free of that cumbersome strapping device.

Yes, sometimes you need rules to protect people from their own stupidity. It makes you wonder why the NHL owners didn't negotiate this into the CBA. You invest millions in a player, why risk a career-altering or career-ending injury? You think the Leafs owners (Ontario Teachers) are pleased because they lost their star player to a preventable injury? Or how about the fact they could have lost Sundin for good because he refused to wear a piece of protective equipment that would not impede his game?

Yes, Mats Sundin used to wear a visor and his play was just fine, thanks. It's too bad he picked up one bad "Canadian" habit and took it off for some stupid reason.

The Puck Stops Here has their take on visors here.
Jim Kelley offers his take on Sportsnet.

I'll be off to Whistler for the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend. Let's all give thanks to Pavol Demitra's parents for knockin' the boots and giving birth to the best ever hockey player from Dubnica, Slovakia ;)

From the sounds of it, the league will be grandfathering the visors in.. much like the helmets were.

I think these non visor wearing players believe it may affect their perception of "toughness" and their ability to intimidate by adding extra protection to themselves.. which is completely ridiculous.

If your such a tough guy.. dont wear any equipment.. go out there with skates and PJ's on.. well see how long your tough for.

As a Devils fan, I lost the privelege to see Scott Stevens play this year because of a puck to the head.. I couldnt image what would have happened had he not been wearing a helmet.

Theres no shame in protecting yourself, prove your toughness by how you play, not your appearance.
Today most workplace safety issues are insurance driven. It's been that way in the US for at least ten years. Before that unions where the strongest advocate and essentially showed the way for the insurance industry to dictate safety policy. The key is they fought for conditions which workers otherwise did not control. In the NHL a good example might have been the glass around the rink boards; shock absorbing v greater fan visablity with the unyielding tight seam application.

In construction a general contractor won't get bonded without a strict safety program in place.

The NHL visor issue is, ethically, a matter of personal choice. It isn't the union's place to force players to wear them. If the league stepped in and made them mandatory though I doubt if the union would fight it, for the same reason they no longer fight drug testing. That's a different issue though, since illicit drugs are *illegal* anyway.

I'm not projecting a public POV on you Jes, but I'm always ammused when people rip unions as having socialist tenets then turn around and want those same unions to usurp individual freedom. What say we let the players endure whatever degree of tragedy fate deals them? Let them find common sense on their own, unless of course the insurance industry steps in and makes it a business issue and a deal is struck that way.

Visors impede your vision on the ice, it's as simple as that. I was always amazed, when playing, how much better your perceptions of what's happening on the ice are without one. That said, I was scared out of my mind, and only seldom didn't wear one.

To play Devil's Advocate here, how many career-ending eye injuries have there been in the NHL? A handful? Considering visors are a recent hockey invention, it seems many players are fine with playing those long odds.

Anyway, I think they should start grandfathering them in. It's good to see a guy like Sid Crosby keeping his on.
what are exact visor-related rules? is it mandatory at least for young guys? Why not to make it as it was with helmets - all who will enter the leauge since now, has to wear a visor, and in 10 years, you have no visor-free players :)

I have completely the same opinion as Jes, over here in Europe, visor is compulsory for all players born 1974 and later. And I havent seen any difference between these two groups on international stage, so the argument with better perceptions on ice arent very useful.
The NHL doesn't require visors at all, period. It's entirely left up to the player.
Just a shameless plug, Jes, but I brought this stuff up during the lockout... Just clicky right here and you'll see my take on it at the time.
If players don't want to wear visors and are willing to assume the risk for not wearing them then I don't think they should have to.

I ride motorcycles which is never as safe as driving in a car. Fortunately for me enough people ride that outlawing motorcycles as an unsafe (or less safe) mode of transportation hasn't yet come forward. I assume the risk of riding a motorcycle in a world that isn't terribly friendly to motorcycle riders. Same goes for just about any extreme sport or remotely dangerous activity.

If they want to assume the risk they should be able to. I'm sooooooooo tired of being told in so many different ways in my life how I should live it.

Just an opinion.
This is probably a conspiracy by the teachers to prevent the leafs from winning. Its all part of their evil plan! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!
it's simple.

1. does any player want to have a serious eye injury? - NO

2. if a player KNEW he would get struck with a stick or a puck in the eye area, would he wear a visor? - YES

why isn't he wearing one right now? - HE DOESN'T THINK IT WILL HAPPEN TO HIM.

it's a lottery, and the gamblers are willing to take their chances.

only the win barely seems worth what's at stake.
Whenever this subject comes up, i can never help but say the following...

"Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, my favorite player *always* wore a visor!!" ;P

This message has been brought to you by the Temple of Francis.
wimps in the world evryone in the world is a winer or a wimp i think be tuf about it and be a candian that you r and dont where a visor i mean most people didnt where helmets till 1983
what happens when a hockey player gets injured? does the club pay their bills or do they need insurance?
if they get injured at training can they claim in the same way someone else who gets an accident at work can?
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