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Daly: NHL wants mandatory visors

Mar 6, 2013, 11:12 AM EDT

Marc Staal Getty Images

The day after Rangers defenseman Marc Staal took a puck in the eye, once again igniting the debate over visors and whether they should be mandatory, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly has weighed in on the issue, putting the onus squarely on the players for their own health and safety.

“The league continues to support a rule that would make visors mandatory in NHL games,” Daly told the New York Times in an e-mail. “As you know, it has been the consistent position of the Players’ Association that they are opposed to mandating visor use, that it should be a matter of ‘player choice,’ and that increased visor use by players should be achieved through continued education and sensitization to the dangers associated with non-use. I believe that continues to be the Players’ Association’s position, although I cannot speak for them.”

Even after watching Staal’s injury, Rangers forward Rick Nash was still supportive of a player’s choice to go without a visor.

“I’ve never played a game without one,” Nash told the New York Post. “That being said, I’m not in favor of making visors mandatory.

“I believe it should be your option. Maybe I’m older-school, but we’re playing the highest level of hockey in the world and I just think we should be allowed to make that decision ourselves.”

An update on Staal’s condition is expected sometime today.

Video: Is it time for mandatory visors?

  1. danaking - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    I never thought I’d live to type this, but Daly’s right; get the visors.

    • jpelle82 - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      oh c’mon. look, if they make the visors mandatory then they should add the kevlar socks, neck guards, and wrist guards. whats next? oh no we need full cages, not just half shields. or the boards need to be made of styrofoam now and the puck needs to be softer too. but hey – i dont like the idea of the govt trying to make me register my ar-10 either….

      • ibieiniid - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        the slippery slope: worst argument mechanism in history.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Mar 6, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        Teeth are replaceable, eyeballs are not.

      • 8man - Mar 6, 2013 at 5:12 PM

        Yes to all of that. Full cages and body armor. Goalies wear the cages and it doesn’t seem to impair their vision.

  2. buddysguys - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    they wore full cages until they were out of college hockey or into the Juniors. Its not a big deal, as much as they want to say it effects their vision its something they will get used to.

    That being said i love when they take pucks to the face and then come back 5 min later all stitched up….toughest dudes in sports.

    • xflyersx - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      Like the way Richards came back from the Kaleta hit?

      • buddysguys - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        yup exactly like that….because he was fine and wasnt as bad as he made it out to be…he did a good job selling it though taking the next day off too.

      • xflyersx - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:10 PM

        Is that why he was out of the lineup last night?

      • xflyersx - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        AHAHAAHA selling it by taking a game off? Wow dude, come on you’re smarter than that. These guys love the game they play, they go f*ckin mad when they’re outta the line up.

      • buddysguys - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        i am sure they don’t like to be removed from the line up but i am DAMN sure they don’t mind an extra day off….plus if they get so mad for the game they love why were they holding out for money this year????

    • stakex - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      Do you even play hockey? If not trust me… there is a massive difference between wearing a cage and a half shield, and there is a big difference between wearing a half shield and no shield at all. Thats why players are against being forced to wear them, even if they themselves do wear them.

      And don’t worry… 95% of the pucks players take to the face will not be prevented by wearing a visor.

      • buckyblackhawk - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        I don’t think the 95% is the issue, it is the 5% that hit the eyes.

      • elvispocomo - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:17 PM

        I hate to agree with a Hawks fan, but we’re not worried about a puck to the jaw, it’s the pucks to the eye that are the main concern. It’ll also help with sticks that could be an issue. The benefit from the protection it gives far outweighs the difference between wearing one and not wearing one (and yes I’ve played hockey – with cages, visors and none).

      • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        Whole bunch of non facts here being called facts.

      • buddysguys - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:42 PM

        yes i do play hockey…and if your telling me it seriously takes you off your game your head is in the wrong place to begin with…..i think massive difference is not the right word to use.

  3. mattybo - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    I pray to God he isn’t blinded by this or suffers any vision impairment for that matter.

    If he does, there will be a massive outcry for visors to be mandatory.

    -Captain Obvious

  4. mattybo - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Also, they complain it will effect their vision but the most vision sensitive position in the game wears a cage – goalie.

    Not saying they aren’t right or that I support mandatory cages but I think they will adapt.

    • hockeyflow33 - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      That would be fine if you ignore the fact that goalies continually try and develop new cages to open up the sight-lines from the cage. Whether it’s a cheater, cat-eye, or some other similar form, goalies try and and avoid a player-like cage at all costs.

      • mattybo - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        Well if they do cages for all they can be like goalies and every other sport position where equipment technology is rapidly evolving for both safety, utility, and player specifications.

        What, a billion dollar industry isn’t well funded enough?

  5. missthemexpos - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    In the National Football League it is mandatory for all players to have multi-bar face mask protection, and yet it seems to me that the danger to your face and eyes is much more prevalent in hockey, what with a hard frozen puck travelling at 100 miles per hour, errant (or deliberate) high sticks, flying elbows, and the possibility of a accidental skate blade. Time for the NHL and the Players Association to get pro-active on this issue.

    • buckyblackhawk - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      It is truly amazing that this type of thing doesn’t happen more often.

  6. tfaltin - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Manny Malhotra should have been enough.

    • elvispocomo - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Then again, so should have Berard or Ohlund.

  7. spiciercheez - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    They should change the boards to pillows so no one gets hurt

    • handsofsweed - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:11 PM

      You should change your name to “Jacka$$.”

    • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      You should lace em up and come on out to the rink for a real game without Gentleman Rules. I doubt you would come back for more.

      • spiciercheez - Mar 6, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        misterchainbluelightning – Mar 6, 2013 at 12:25 PM: You should lace em up and come on out to the rink for a real game without Gentleman Rules. I doubt you would come back for more.

        Huh?

      • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        Figures guys who never played hockey in their lives wouldn’t know what Gentlemen league rules mean. Because im sure that most here closest experience with hockey is having some beer and fun on skates with friends.
        These wannabe tough guys would be crying home to mommy about not wanting to go back to play a 2nd game of real competitive hockey.

      • hockeyflow33 - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        I don’t understand this either?

      • spiciercheez - Mar 7, 2013 at 7:50 AM

        Misterchain, how much tape do you put on your ankles when you play you bender? Can you cross over both ways?? I bet you wear Tacks and use a Coffee BC stick.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      lol, this guy. remember how they curved the glass to make sure another Chara/Pacioretty didn’t happen. they constantly do things that make it safer for the players… fact of the matter is, it normally takes an incident like this for them to see how necessary some of these things are.

      visors.

      but in your world, I guess you’d like to see the losing team line up at one end and let the other team take shots at them from the blue line… because injuries are what hockey’s all about

      • spiciercheez - Mar 6, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        It’s obviously not what it’s about, but injuries happen in contact/high speed sports. Get over it.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 6, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        you’d just rather them not make changes to the game for player safety at all and continue with the high-as-hell serious injury rate…

      • spiciercheez - Mar 6, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        How about this story from a while back:

        “On January 29, 2000, the Habs were playing the Flyers at the Molson Centre. Habs right wing Trent McCleary hadn’t logged much ice time (only 4:02) but he played aggressively. It was no surprise that he attempted to block defenceman Chris Therien’s shot.

        The shot hit him directly in the throat, and McCleary fell to the ice, unable to breathe. He struggled on the ice for a few moments, then his instincts drove him to skate to the bench, where he tried to tell the trainer he couldn’t breathe before collapsing.”

        Why don’t they have to wear hard-shell neck guards to protect from that? Where does it stop?

      • ibieiniid - Mar 6, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        here’s the difference… you had to go back to 2000, 13 years ago, to find a neck injury from a puck. you can go back to yesterday to find a high-face injury from a puck. there’s probably been at LEAST 10 players getting moderate to serious facial injuries from pucks or sticks since that neck injury happened. for whatever reason, serious high-face injuries are far more frequent than serious neck injuries from a puck.

        and just to cover all my bases, I put aside skate injuries to face/necks for this argument because those are even more rare, freak injuries. plus, too small of a sample size to analyze how i analyzed the puck injuries.

      • spiciercheez - Mar 6, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        Ok you says theres been at least 10…in about 13 years? Once a year huh?

      • ibieiniid - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        i’ll go with at least 10, yeah. i can think of several (more than the amount of examples you gave) off the top of my head. including one that ended a career. Laperriere

      • spiciercheez - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        Haha you didn’t give any examples you just tossed a number out. Either way, it is still not very frequent. With the number of guys in the league that already wear visors why is there a need for mandatory? I don’t get how you can’t understand that they want this choice.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        well, since we’re on a post about Staal getting hit, there’s one. Lappy is 2…. that’s more than you gave right there.

        I understand that they WANT the choice completely… I don’t understand giving them the choice, considering the consequences.

      • spiciercheez - Mar 7, 2013 at 7:52 AM

        Well, they are the ones that face the consequences not you, so maybe that’s why they should have the choice

  8. buckyblackhawk - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Eyes do not grow back and a false eye does not have the same usefulness as a false tooth. I am sure there are some players that would like to wear a visor but there “role” makes it were they cannot put one on. Every level leading up to the NHL has a requirement to have a visor, I think if they made it a requirement starting with this coming draft class it may work.

  9. yotesfan61 - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    It’s time for visors. Also agree above, if a goalie can wear a cage in front of his eyes, why can’t a player? Goalie needs to see the puck as much as anyone else that touches the ice, and it doesn’t seem to be an issue for them. Just an opinion though. If I was an owner with as much money invested as these guys have in these players, I would mandate visors for my team in a heartbeat. Any thoughts on what a mandate of visors would do for fighting? I personally hate seeing anyone with a visor fight with it on. I’ve always thought it was a bit of a chicken sh*t move, especially when fighting a player without a visor. Mandate a removal of the helmet if you drop the gloves? Just curiosity on that topic…

  10. chanceoffleury1 - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Somebody on the other article pointed out that out of the current top 50 points leaders, only Simmonds and E.Staal don’t wear them. So I don’t think it will be too hard to dismiss the “It impairs my vision” argument with a “You’ll get used to it” argument. The fact goalies wear them is a good point, too.

    I think a grandfather clause would be pretty likely, anyway. And due to the rule of them being required in the AHL, most players coming up are already wearing them. I don’t think they’d get *that* much resistance by enacting a rule since the league seems to already be heading that way anyway.

  11. barbarian9 - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    If a player refuses to wear a visor, he then should sign a waiver refusing salary in case of an eye injury.

    • doubles22 - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      I was thinking something along these lines as well. No visor, no guaranteed contract.

  12. dipspit55 - Mar 6, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Obviously the players know the risk that they take by not wearing a visor it’s part of the game and the type of player. If they don’t want to wear a visor let them. If they do make it mandatory your going to see less fights and the players will just tilt the visor all the way up anyway . No point

    • ibieiniid - Mar 6, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      as far as the fights: i would think actually, we’d see more quality fights. if a player wanted to fight somebody, he’s not gonna be as compelled to just start swinging on a guy. he’s gonna step back, challenge, and they’ll remove their lids as we’ve seen a lot of guys do before fights lately. I, for one, don’t even like the fights that start when one guy is not expecting it. the fights where they square off 10 ft away from each other always end up being better fights.

      and as far as tilting the visor: the rule wouldn’t simply be you have to have a visor on your helmet… it’d be you have to have a visor on your helmet that’s clearly protecting your eyes. if they tilt their helmets back, the ref will say something and possibly give them a penalty… as they do already if any player isn’t wearing their protection properly

  13. phillyphanatic77 - Mar 6, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    I don’t think there should be any question that visors should be mandatory starting with years draft class. Implementing a grandfather will keep the vets happy and create a precedent for all young players to wear them. Like others have said with frozen pucks flying all over and sticks flailing it’s amazing that this doesn’t happen more often. And remember, the puck that hit Staal was deflected so imagine the damage if it had been a straight slapshot to the eye. Maybe if Pronger had been wearing a visor the stick that hit his eye and re-agitated his concussion symptoms could’ve been stopped. I understand that with the grandfather clause he probably wouldn’t have been wearing one anyway, but those types of incidents can be avoided with future generations. Just like with Goalies wearing masks, this is common sense. Especially with Staals history with concussions.

  14. hockeydon10 - Mar 6, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    I’m kinda surprised more GMs/owners aren’t putting mandatory visor use in the offers they put forth to players. After all, the investment in in the millions of dollars and one would think they would like to protect that as much as possible to get the return they’re expected for all that money.

    • hockeyflow33 - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:49 PM

      You’re surprised because you have no understanding of the NHLPA dynamic and what a players union is there for.

      • hockeydon10 - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:33 PM

        The union is there to protect its members.

        Oh… wait.

      • hockeyflow33 - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:49 PM

        I know, it’s terrible that the players could want free choice

  15. lionstigersandwingsohmy - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Craig MacTavish thinks this rule is silly and refuses to wear a visor.

  16. boisehockeyref - Mar 6, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    I’ve been involved in the game for over 40 years and have never pkayed out nor played goalie without a cage. For the last 16 years as a referee. About 6 years ago I went to a visor to referee. Best move I ever made and do not regret it one bit. That visor has saved my eyes on a number of occasions. There is no shame in using one.

    • buckyblackhawk - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:12 PM

      Playing in a old man leagues without a visor is pretty stupid. I do not get it how one wants to improve there vision without a visor during a Tuesday night at 10 pm after 2-3 beers.

  17. gillette2112 - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Yes do it

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