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Pens’ Orpik can’t think of ‘valid excuse’ against wearing a visor

Mar 7, 2013, 8:13 PM EDT

brooksorpikgetty Getty Images

With Marc Staal‘s frightening eye injury fresh on the minds of many, some are considering changing their stances on wearing visors.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik might be one of them, as he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“I guess there really isn’t a valid excuse to not wear one anymore,” Orpik said.

As far as it interfering with his vision, the 32-year-old evoked the many star players who don’t seem too bothered by wearing one.

“Some of the guys say that they can’t see as well,” Orpik said. “Well, I look around and see Sid (Sidney Crosby), Geno (Evgeni Malkin) and (Tampa Bay star Steven) Stamkos wearing visors out there. They’re the best players in the game, and they have plenty of vision even though they use visors. There’s probably no excuse anymore.”

It remains to be seen if Orpik’s teammates will also have a change of heart. Fellow Pens blueliner Mark Eaton is on the fence, despite the pleas of his eight-year-old daughter.

“She said, ‘Daddy, you need to put a visor on,’ ” Eaton said. “That’s the only thing that might sway me. But even that — it just is such a nuisance with the fog and water. I can’t get used to it.”

There are some, like tough guy Tanner Glass, who aren’t interested in wearing one at all unless forced to.

“Not one bit,” he said. “I got my eyeball hurt last year. We know the risks. It’s something I deal with. I feel like I’m more in the game, not sitting behind the glass like a spectator.”

To each his own … unless the league makes them mandatory, of course.

  1. mclovinhockey - Mar 7, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    I agree, protect yourself against career threatening injuries or don’t.
    This isn’t like blue pill red pill
    It’s more like roulette or Russian roulette

    • xavier46 - Mar 7, 2013 at 9:55 PM

      It’s a lot like wearing a visor or not wearing a visor…

  2. atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 7, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    Jarome Iginla has worn a visor almost his entire career, for a decade he was probably the top power forward in the league, scoring, setting up goals, delivering hits and fighting when he needed to…and doing it quite well. So the arguement that you can’t be a tough player wearing one goes out the window.

    As Orpik said pretty much every top player now wear one, they maintain their skill level while doing so.

    I can’t think of any reason why it makes sense to risk your vision in order to show your toughness, an NHL career lasts maybe 4 or 5 years on average, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to see the 40-50 years of your life you have after your NHL career is over?

  3. bensawesomeness - Mar 8, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    About 9 years ago, i watched Yzerman get hit in the face with a puck coming from a slapshot against Calgary.

    The amount of pain i saw that man in, i’d never go without one if i was in these guy’s shoes

  4. jpelle82 - Mar 8, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    classic example of a guy excercising his right to choose. if he believes it makes sense then he has the right to put one on, actions speak louder than words though. didnt see him wearing one last night

  5. hockeydon10 - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Manny Malhotra was forced to LTIR because of a puck to the eye. His career may be over because of it.

  6. nicknyhc - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I can’t think of a valid excuse for half the cheap shots that Brooks Orpik throws.

    • jpelle82 - Mar 8, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      lol you’re reaching there bud

  7. iHeartHockey31 - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    The Marc Staal puck to the eye incident ignited recent visor discussions, and it was during another Rangers game the downside of visor-wearing became apparent. I wasn’t aware of this rule until I heard it called in the NYR-OTT game…
    Rule 47.6 states:
    Face Protection – If a player penalized as an instigator of an altercation is wearing a face shield (including a goalkeeper), he shall be assessed an additional unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Should the player (including a goalkeeper) who instigates the fight be wearing a face shield, but removes it before instigating the altercation, the additional unsportsmanlike conduct penalty shall not apply.
    Essentially the instigator penalty becomes a double minor if called on a player wearing a visor. [Unless such player removes his helmet prior to instigating a fight]. While understandable, it does pose a negative arguement to the visor [for those less skilled players relying heavily on their fighting skills to win games].
    I’m not arguing for or against mandatory visors, just pointing out, if they want more players to wear visors, they probably shouldn’t have additional penalties for doing so.

    For those people against the NHL introducing mandatory visor use, I’d recommend bringing up the potential to impede scoring. This is always the arguement for reducing the size of goaltender equipment. Apparently when it comes to the netminders, less equipment = more goals [regarldess of the potential for increased netminder injuries] is a topic worth visiting for GMs. I would think if the visor arguement were framed in the same way, scoring goals would take priority over any potential player safety — bringing the NHL’s mandatory visor use discussions to a quick end.

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