NHL to Implement Mandatory Visor Use for New Players
NHL 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs
New York, NY
The NHL's competition committee with representation from the NHL Players' Association recommended the mandatory use of visors for all incoming players next season.
If approved by the NHL Board of Governors, current players with at least 26 games of NHL experience still may choose not to wear a visor.
An estimated 73% of NHL players already wear visors.
The NHL hopes the grandfathering in of mandatory visors will push players to 100% participation soon.
This grandfathering procedure is the same that the NHL used when making helmets mandatory for the 1979-80 season.
Injuries such as orbital bone fractures, blurred vision and a tear in his right eye suffered by New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal from a deflected puck to the face at the Garden in March 5 could have beeen prevented with visor use.
Staal, who voted to make visor use mandatory, said that many players don't have an issue with it except those that get into fights.
The penalty for starting a fight with a visor on reportedly will be changed. Currently an instigator of a fight who wears a visor is also assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
The NHL and NHLPA weren't able to make them completely mandatory because players adamantly defend their right to choose.
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