When New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal was struck in the eye with a puck during Tuesday night’s win over the Philadelphia Flyers, there was immediately a discussion on whether or not the NHL should enforce a mandatory rule that would make players wear visors. Immediately, I thought it was a good idea, and now there are reports that the NHL wants a mandatory visor rule in place.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly says that the league fully supports a mandatory movement that will put the player’s health and safety above all else.
“The league continues to support a rule that would make visors mandatory in NHL games,” Daly wrote in an e-mail to the New York Times.
“As you know, it has been the consistent position of the Players’ Association that they are opposed to mandating visor use, that it should be a matter of ‘player choice,’ and that increased visor use by players should be achieved through continued education and sensitization to the dangers associated with non-use. I believe that continues to be the Players’ Association’s position, although I cannot speak for them.”
Of course, the league could face a fight from the players who do not want to be forced to wear visors.
Staal’s teammate, Rangers forward Rick Nash, was front and center when his teammate was struck in the face. Nash has worn a visor for every game of his career, but he does not want to see anyone being forced to wear what they do not want.
“I’ve never played a game without one,” Nash said, per the New York Post. “That being said, I’m not in favor of making visors mandatory.
“I believe it should be your option. Maybe I’m older-school, but we’re playing the highest level of hockey in the world and I just think we should be allowed to make that decision ourselves.”
Personally, I want to see the NHL institute a mandatory rule. Player safety should be the first thing considered when making a new rule or regulation and protecting the players long-term health and vision is something that should be a no-brainer.
What do you think? Is it time for the NHL to make a mandatory visor rule? Let us know your thoughts and sound off in the comments section.