Hockey players shun eye protection
"The smartest thing to do would be to put (a visor) on," said Mike Ricci of the San Jose Sharks when asked some time ago about the eye protection debate. "But we're not very smart."
That quote comes from an article in the Toronto Star, which went on to report that Ricci and other players know about the player who became legally blind in his right eye nearly four years ago. They know about the series of eye injuries that have again struck the league this season, caused by flying pucks and high sticks.
"This madnessâ€¦ has gone on far too long and has somehow been twisted into an issue of personal choice by NHL players rather than one of basic workplace safety," stated the paper. Sound familiar?
Only about 35 percent of 700 NHL players wear visors despite the fact the vast majority had to wear full or partial facial protection until they entered pro hockey, according to the article.
Why? It's all about testosterone and machismo.
"It's image," said former Montreal Canadiens forward Guy Carbonneau, in the article. "Guys think you aren't tough if you wear one (a visor)."
The league keeps chipping away at encouraging eye protection. Visor use in the NHL has increased significantly in recent years, up about 15 percent since 2000.