Visor Debate : NHLPA’s Vote Coming to the NHL June 4
The NHLPA will present results of a vote on visor usage to the NHL’s competition committee on Tuesday, June 4, according to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie. Visor usage was one of the big topics of discussion at March’s general managers meetings.
According to NHLPA executive Mathieu Schneider, the players’ union was looking at making visors mandatory for players entering the league, and was also exploring grandfathering in visor usage for current players. Players like Orpik and J. Staal say that the visor-wear is just being smarter and there is no excuse to not wear on in today’s league. TVA’s Louis Jean reported the PA would poll its members on the grandfathering idea, and the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts noted that, if there was enough support, the grandfather rule would go to the competition committee.
The GM meetings occurred just weeks after Rangers defenseman Marc Staal was caught in the eye with a puck during a game against Philadelphia. Staal, who wasn’t wearing a visor at the time, has since said he should’ve been wearing one and today, acknowledged that he voted in favor of mandatory visor usage — without a grandfather clause.
Visor use has steadily increased over the past few seasons, with a recent NHLPA report claiming 73 percent of active players wear a shield; up from 34 percent in the 2003-04 season. The NHL is for mandatory visors while there is a report that in the NHLPA wants the visor wear to be an individual choice amongst the players. What will come of this vote and will this help make the players safer?