Monday, November 07, 2005


John LeClair: Just another Visorless Victim

Yes, it's post #145 on the visor issue.

Penguins left wing John "Chocolate" LeClair is out indefinitely after being hit near the right eye by a puck during Pittsburgh's practice on Saturday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

LeClair suffered multiple fractures to the "cheekbone region," team officials told the paper.

LeClair is to be re-examined in Pittsburgh (the Penguins were in Boston on Saturday, where they suffered a loss to the Bruins), but preliminary indications are that he will not require surgery for the injury.


Damien Cox, not usually known for having a functioning brain, wrote a decent writeup for on the whole visor issue.

Most players currently in the NHL wore visors or masks until they entered the league, but many then took them off. Why? Well, the most cited reason is that face masks, either clear or wire, somehow impair on-ice vision.

A more unstated reason is that players believe it is an issue of manhood, particularly those who prefer a physical style of play and thus, at least to some, must be prepared to drop their gloves and fight. Players who wear visors and try to fight are seen as having an unfair advantage.

That this is akin to calling Major League Baseball players chicken for wearing batting helmets is logic that doesn't penetrate those who embrace this notion. Indeed, Los Angeles forward Sean Avery, gunning for early recognition as the NHL's moron of the year, recently slandered both French-Canadians and players who wear visors as somehow lacking in courage after teammate Jeremy Roenick was flattened by a clean check delivered by Phoenix defenseman Denis Gauthier.

"Oh, but Jes, visors make it hard to see"

BS! I know that is not true and it's a pretty weak excuse unless you happen to never wipe off the visor (Yes, it requires wiping, but so does your ass after going to the washroom).

"There is no statistically significant difference for visual acuity, color vision and sensitivity to contrast with or without eye protection," wrote optometry researchers Sheila Laplante and Sophie Pilon.

"We wanted to know if [NHL players] were justified in complaining about this factor. Our conclusions are very clear; they are wrong."

I know the fogginess of visors is often cited as a reason not to wear them. It doesn't seem to prevent Markus Naslund or Paul Kariya from using them without complaint.

"It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," said former NHL goalie Ken Dryden, now a cabinet minister in the Canadian federal government.

"So, speed up the when."
Exactly. Why doesn't Gary Bettman force the issue like he did with his 'Cost Certainty'. I have no sympathy for LeClair since this is/was an injury that is/was preventable.

in the states, between periods there was a visor debate during one game, the best line?

"hey ya wear a cup when you get on the ice, and what is more imporant , your jewels or your eyes?"

Sweat. I hate visors because of sweat. Yes, I'll wipe it off, but I don't really get a chance during play. But I'll wear a cage, NHLers don't have that option. Bettman & Co want visors in, it's the PA blocking it from everything I've read.

I don't think all "cheekbone region" injuries are preventable via half-shields, but regardless of that, practice is usually where players are more casual with equipment, so even a visor-wearer may not have his on then.
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