Now, these are not isolated instances. I think we all remember when Marian Hossa got his stick up on Bryan Berard taking out his eye and almost his career. We remember with Stevie Y got a puck deflected from Rhett Warrener's skate into his face breaking his orbital bone, and of course Pavol Demitra getting run errently into the boards crushing his face. However, it seems that the message still isn't getting through to all of the players out there.
According to a poll given to a dozen or so NHLers, many of them didn't like the idea of a mandatory visor rule. Of course, I don't know whether or not the idea of "grandfathering" the rule in, but it seems that a flat out mandatory rule is out of the question. There are some players out there, like Daniel Alfredsson, who are pushing for the mandatory visors because of the higher risk out there now. However, teams like the LA Kings have already shot down the visor rule.
If you look around the world, most, if not all, European leagues make visors mandatory to use. You saw that with many of the NHLers last year, yet they still didn't get the message. Dany Heatley got hit in the eye while his visor was resting on the top of his forehead. All of the junior leagues make their players wear visors and the NCAA makes all their players wear either full cages or full visors. Some minor leagues, like the UHL and ECHL, have also tried out the rules for mandatory visors as well.
With most of the new talent coming from the Major Juniors, they are already use to the visors. If the NHL were to grandfather in the rule, the players coming in would already be use to the visors, so the transistion wouldn't be as hard if you try to make an elderstateman in the NHL do it. For more information, check out the links below to see the different views on the subject.
- Alfie Eyes Mandatory Visors
- NHL Players Blind to Safety
- Injuries Put New Focus on Visors
- Make Visors Mandatory
It's almost insane not to make the rule mandatory with a "grandfather" rule in effect. When you look around at how much more frequent these injuries are happening, the NHLPA should wake up to the fact that it would be for the betterment of the players coming into the league if such a rule existed. Granted, this probably won't come to much fanfare, but the truth of the matter is that the NHL needs something to protect it's players from things that are avoidable. The visor rule could do just that.
The one really big determining factor is with the insurance. By putting a visor rule into effect, the insurance cost would be going down and players could save on that fact. Not to mention Workmen's compensation will also have something to say about avoidable situations. Whether it happens sooner or latter, the visor rule is almost inevitable.
This has been ScottyWazz. Take care of yourself and someone else. PEACE!!