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Dilbert

AHL to mandate visors

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Wed, June 28, 2006

AHL Board of Governors approves mandatory use of protective visors

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. ? American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that the AHL?s Board of Governors, currently convened for its Annual Meeting, has overwhelmingly approved the mandatory use of protective visors by all of its players, beginning with the upcoming 2006-07 season.

?This is a very significant and progressive step in the evolution of our league,? said Andrews. ?The safety of our world-class athletes remains a top priority, and after lengthy discussions with the Professional Hockey Players? Association and medical experts, there is no doubt in our minds that this is necessary and the right thing to do.?

All AHL skaters, regardless of age or experience, will be required to wear approved visors beginning this fall.

?We particularly appreciate the leadership provided to us on this issue by Dr. Michael J. Stuart, Chief Medical Officer of USA Hockey and Co-Director of the Sports Medicine Center at the Mayo Clinic,? added Andrews. ?His research and articulate presentations to our Board and to our Players? Association were very helpful in this process.?

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 82 percent of today?s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the fifth year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2005-06

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It's about time.

This "macho" attitude about only wimpy players wearing eye protection is unsafe. Today's player is bigger, stronger and faster than in the past, and with technology sticks have gotten stronger and lighter resulting in harder shots. And with the rash of horrific facial and eye injuries in the last few seasons, I can't understand why any player would want to play without an eye shield.

I don't consider a player any less tough for playing with a visor than without. I consider him smarter.

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I don't consider a player any less tough for playing with a visor than without. I consider him smarter.

Does that extend to a player wearing a full face-shield? Or is there a double standard there?

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Anyone think the number of facial injuries and high sticking penalties will go up now.

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I don't consider a player any less tough for playing with a visor than without. I consider him smarter.

Does that extend to a player wearing a full face-shield? Or is there a double standard there?

Of course it would be even smarter to have a full face shield, or even a cage, as worn in college. Face shields only seem to be used on those healing injuries.

I've heard that full face shields have a problem with fogging up, no matter how anti-fog they get, so I can understand if they're not used as often.

I used to wear a cage when I played floor hockey, after seeing a teammate accidentally get sticked in the mouth. My glasses (prescription, not sport goggles) would fog, even in a cage, so I stopped wearing them. I suffered no loss of peripheral vision, and the helmet was light enough that I didn't feel like I had a huge weight on my head.

Teeth, you can replace. Eyes, not so much.

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Teeth, you can replace. Eyes, not so much.

Excellent point.

It's great to see a league wise enough to make visors mandatory. I just hope the NHL does the same. Don't they have to vote on this at the next players' meeting?

I too have played with a cage in minor hockey. I then switched to a visor, which is basically the next best thing. I see eye injuries in hockey and I don't want that to happen to me, so I wear it as close to my eyes (and nose) as its possible.

On ice, I'd never do without. Playing dek-hockey though, I just have spent too much time roughing myself up on tennis fences to care... but I'll probably put a visor on eventually.

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I use the blue-tinted visor at all times, mainly because it's a pain to put back on after removing it. I liked playing without any sort of face protection, but when I started to get back into ice hockey a bit more, I opted to get something for my eyes. I got a blue tint because I'd never seen it before, and it was the same price as a clear.

I think it's good the AHL did this, but I'm curious to see how some of the vets'll take to wearing them.

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I always wore a full cage because of the fogging issue.

I was always scared about wearing a half shield cause i thought a stick could come up there and instead of missing your face, it'd funnel towards your eyes.

Now that probably never happens, but it was a concern to me. So it was full cage for me

Of course I was an idiot and removed the ear guards...

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Teeth, you can replace. Eyes, not so much.

Excellent point.

It's great to see a league wise enough to make visors mandatory. I just hope the NHL does the same. Don't they have to vote on this at the next players' meeting?

I too have played with a cage in minor hockey. I then switched to a visor, which is basically the next best thing. I see eye injuries in hockey and I don't want that to happen to me, so I wear it as close to my eyes (and nose) as its possible.

On ice, I'd never do without. Playing dek-hockey though, I just have spent too much time roughing myself up on tennis fences to care... but I'll probably put a visor on eventually.

Great points. I agree 100% with jpslapshot22 and pollux. The visor is a great way to prevent getting hit in the eye. Full face shields do fog up, which is why nobody on my hockey team wears them. Everybody wears a cage. If I ever play hockey professionally or whatever, I would wear a visor for sure. I was born blind in my left eye and nobody can fix it, so basically I'd force myself to wear a visor. I got moved from forward to defense, where I'm tough as hell, but of course there would be people who would say that I'm not tough for wearing a visor, but what would you do if you played a sport, already blind in one eye or not? Would you be smart and protect yourself, or suffer permanent damage to your eyes and face? I'm glad the AHL is doing this.

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Makes sense...every other minor pro, major junior, and college league already mandates shields or full cages.

It'll happen in the NHL soon enough...heck, you woulda thought it woulda happened after the Bryan Berard incident a few years ago.

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Visors dont always help though and I thing it leads to more dangerous play, It should still be the player's choice.

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Playing Devil's advocate here,what happens if the puck or stick goes undernieth the visor and hits the eyes or nose anyway,because it has happend before.

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Playing Devil's advocateĀ  here,what happens if the puck or stick goes undernieth the visor and hits the eyes or nose anyway,because it has happend before.

It probably depends on the visor type you're wearing, I'd say. Take a look at Dany Heatley's visor for example... There's little to no chance to get hit higher than under the nose with that. On the other hand, Koivu's, for example, isn't shielding that much.

I hope they do force new players to wear a certain type of visor, to make sure there are less and less injuries.

Visors dont always help though and I thing it leads to more dangerous play, It should still be the player's choice.

It won't lead to more dangerous play automatically. Remember, before players were forced to wear helmets, there was probably more concussions than what was said. Hockey didn't get the TV coverage as much before, so now that it is mediatised, you see those nasty injuries more often.

Doesn't mean it's getting more dangerous...

Respect isn't something you loose when wearing a piece of equipment to protect yourself. Respect has to be encouraged throughout the league and through the players association to punish the players that don't respect others.

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Ask Saku Koivu about a visor and how well it helped him!!!!! Ask Montreal Canadiens too? Most likely the reason the Hurricanes won that series.

Also some guy named Wayne did pretty good without one and said he would never wear one. Player choice all the way!

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Ask Saku Koivu about a visor and how well it helped him!!!!! Ask Montreal Canadiens too? Most likely the reason the Hurricanes won that series.

Also some guy named Wayne did pretty good without one and said he would never wear one. Player choice all the way!

Yeah, and Red Grange ran just fine without a helmet! Or any pads at all, for that matter! So let's get all of the protective gear off of these wussy, pampered athletes, and make them play like real men again! YARRRRRRGHHHHH!

*turns off sarcasm switch*

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I don't like the idea of forcing players to wear visors. Of course, I'd wear one, but if someone else doesn't want to, that's his choice. His ill-advised and stupid choice, but choice nonetheless. I understand you could go "O RLY well what if..." and apply this to every piece of equipment possible, but in the case of a visor, I think it should be optional.

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now, I don't mind players making a choice what to wear, but considering the teams fitting the bill for medical costs due to injury (through insurance I suppose) the teams and the league have every right to protect the players by any means necessary. Players are the single biggest investment an owner of a team can make.

How about a comprimise:

To let the players decide whether or not to wear a visor. But if the player doesn't wear a visor and the player suffers an eye injury, then the player is on his (or her) own.

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visors just look cool... too, thats why I wear one and the fact my eyes are kinda important

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How about a comprimise:

To let the players decide whether or not to wear a visor. But if the player doesn't wear a visor and the player suffers an eye injury, then the player is on his (or her) own.

Exactly. That's what I was getting at, but I didn't get around to it.

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Ask Saku Koivu about a visor and how well it helped him!!!!! Ask Montreal Canadiens too? Most likely the reason the Hurricanes won that series.

Also some guy named Wayne did pretty good without one and said he would never wear one. Player choice all the way!

Yeah, and Red Grange ran just fine without a helmet! Or any pads at all, for that matter! So let's get all of the protective gear off of these wussy, pampered athletes, and make them play like real men again! YARRRRRRGHHHHH!

*turns off sarcasm switch*

Go back to baseball and quit being a dickhead, sodboy.

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