It’s surprising that after the injury to Manny Malhotra of the Vancouver sustained after being hit in the eye by a puck more hasn’t been said about the importance of visors. Unlike the issue of head hits there isn’t really an urgent need for the NHL to do something. It’s more like texting and driving or underage drinking, it’s something that we know is happening that we could probably do more about but don’t really feel like dealing with.
The injury was highly preventable. If he had been wearing a cage or a visor he would have been totally fine. There are all the usual reasons given that players find them uncomfortable and that it’s up to them. It’s about time for the NHL to put safety first and put a rule in place. To get around all of the anger from players that have been around the league for ages they can grandfather in the rule making it so that it applies to players who have only been in the NHL for the last season or those who are just entering. Over time as new players come in and old ones retire everyone will have to wear visors and everyone will be better.
Players who have never been used to anything else will be a lot less likely to get upset and fight the rule. Younger players are used to wearing visors or cages in pewee, in junior at at the Junior World Championships so they will be more accepting of the change.
This is the system that was used for putting helmets into place. Younger players were used to them because they didn’t know anything different and were also more accepting of the need for improved safety.
Some players chose to wear visors or cages because of injuries or safety concerns. It is time that this is no longer a choice and for the NHL to decide that the health of the teeth, faces and eyes of players is more important than complaints about comfort or visibility.