In a prudent move, the NHLPA has voted to grandfather in a mandatory visor rule.
The sort of surprising, yet also not surprising vote comes a few months after Marc Staal suffered a career threatening eye injury when he got smoked in the face by a puck.
Staal, along with brothers Eric and Jordan, started wearing visors soon after the injury.
The rule states that any player with less than 25 games of NHL experience must wear a visor starting next year. Any player with more than 25 games of service can continue to be ignorant.
The move shouldn’t cause too much backlash as most people are
not Don Cherry reasonable and realize visors are an intelligent way to protect the players.
In addition, players who wear visors are now allowed to start fights, before today any player wearing a visor would be penalized for starting a fight.
In 1979 the NHL approved a similar rule making helmets mandatory for players who hadn’t signed a professional contract prior to the 1979 season. Craig MacTavish was the last player to play sans helmet, retiring in 1997.
A few other notes from the NHL, NHLPA Competition Committee Meetings, according to SportingNews:
Other news out of the meetings, which is all subject to board approval:
— In the preseason, the league will test hybrid icing, a a rule tweak that would change icing decisions from a race to the puck into a race to the faceoff dots, with officials either whistling play dead or allowing it to continue. That, like visors, is designed to cut out catastrophic injuries. Tough to argue against it.
— The nets will become more shallow. That will lead to more space and, theoretically, more scoring.