Tag: visors

2012 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championship

Update: NCAA denies rumors of change from cages to visors


Hours after ACHA Insider reported that the NCAA would announce a transition from full cages to half-shields, NCAA hockey denied that rumor via its official Twitter page. The NCAA simply responded “Sorry, but this is not true. More info to come Friday.”

Naturally, we’ll know more about what exactly the NCAA has planned tomorrow. In the mean time, it seems reasonable to discuss the merits of making such a change.

The minus is that a half-shield would present less facial protection than a full cage (which is on display in this post’s main image). On the other hand, one could argue that it would be that much easier to transition from the NCAA to pro hockey by playing with similar gear.

Which direction would you go in, then?

Eye surgery will sideline George Parros for a month


Tough guys like George Parros won’t wear visors until the NHL makes them mandatory, but the mustachioed fighter might want to don one in practice. Parros took two pucks to the face in recent practices – one under his right eye (Oct. 26) and the most recent to his left eye on Friday, Nov. 4. That last one forced him to undergo laser eye surgery today, a procedure that will sideline him for about one month.

Parros even put up a photo of his stitched-up eye on Twitter recently.


Parros joked that his left eye must have gotten jealous of the dinged-up right side of his face, which you can see from this photo (also via Parros’ Twitter):


Parros is an Ivy League graduate, so it’s not like the “tough dumb hockey player” line of argument works here. Still, his job is to intimidate and fight, which means he’s unlikely to don a visor (at least any longer than he’s forced to).

It feels strange to say this, but hopefully future stitches will come from fists, not wayward pucks. He’ll have to wait until December or so for that to happen again, though.

Chris Pronger is reportedly resting at home, could return in 10 days

Toronto Maple Leafs v Philadelphia Flyers

Mike Brophy reports that Chris Pronger is “home and resting” after what looked like a very scary eye injury tonight. He left the ice immediately after taking a high stick to the face, letting out a frightening scream that was audible during the telecast. Brophy indicates that doctors told Pronger he “should be OK” after that scare.

CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio reports that Pronger will be on bed rest for three days but could return in as soon as 10 days. Pronger is dealing with swelling around that eye, but again, it seems like he avoided a major problem. (Panaccio reports that Pronger will wear a face shield, at least to start.)

Naturally, this close call will probably bring the mandatory visors debate back to hockey forums. Sooner or later another player is going to have his career cut short because of a scary injury, but it doesn’t seem like many players are taking note of these incidents unless it affects them directly.

Either way, it’s a relief to hear that Pronger is OK in the big picture, but we’ll have to wait and see if that diagnosis is a little bit optimistic. Even a player as tough as Pronger would seemingly need more time to deal with what looked like a very dangerous moment, but initial reports are very positive. Stay tuned for updates.

Mike Mottau reflects upon being ‘lucky’ enough to survive eye injury

Mike Mottau

Hockey players can be lucky in plenty of instances. A player can put together a hot streak – particularly during the playoffs – in which an unusual amount of his shots go in. Goalies might not like it, but sometimes they really do get lucky when a puck hits their posts.

It’s hard to believe a player would call himself lucky after a puck hit him in the eye, though.

That’s the perspective that New York Islanders defenseman Mike Mottau shared on Friday, however. Mottau took a wayward Zach Bogosian shot to his right eye during a scary incident on Nov. 21, 2010, forcing him to spend multiple nights in an Atlanta hospital and end his season in the process.

The important thing to Mottau is that it could have been worse – both for his eye and for his hockey career. He’ll be able to continue playing at the NHL level because of how the puck landed, which he explained to Tom Gulitti.

“I was awful lucky and fortunate that it hit the way it hit,” said Mottau, who is at Prudential Center tonight with the Islanders to face his former team in a preseason game. “It was rolling and it hit me this way (as if it was standing on edge), so it was above and below. (Otherwise) the rounded edge would have hit my eye instead of being flat and would have squished it.”

There was permanent damage to the eye and he was cut above and below it, but he suffered no broken bones and his vision is “intact.”

“The eye is permanently dilated, but it’s still good enough to play,” the 33-year-old defenseman explained. “The vision is intact, but the light affects it. So, it’s something I’ve had to get used to.”

Because his pupil is dilated, his eye is more sensitive to light. He said it doesn’t not bother him on the ice, though.

When it comes to this injury, it’s all relative. Mottau’s former teammate Colin White also fought through a serious eye injury (which occurred in 2007). Mottau explained that while they went through some of the same things, White’s situation was “much worse.”

Mottau admitted that he could have avoided that injury if he wore a visor, which he plans on wearing voluntarily going forward. He explained why he didn’t wear one in the NHL after donning a full cage during his NCAA career.

“It was just one of those things where you have the freedom to do it,” he said. “You’re wearing a full cage and you get to take it off. At the time, there weren’t a ton of visors in the league and I don’t know if it’s an ego thing. It’s not like I was a heavyweight by any means. I just kind of gave me that freedom of not having it, being a professional.”

It’s difficult to scold NHL players for refusing to wear visors, even if it’s somewhat infuriating that they take an “It won’t happen to me” stance after seeing gruesome injuries to the likes of Steve Yzerman. One imagines it is only a matter of time before they become mandatory, but in the mean time, let’s hope that more players learn their lesson before they take a puck to the eye.

Lightning bits: Yzerman advises players to wear visors, Ryan Malone should be ready for next season

Steven Stamkos

While they did lose Sean Bergenheim and some support players, there are still plenty of reasons to be positive about the Tampa Bay Lightning. The team’s new vision can be seen in the form of their new uniforms, their promising first run of results under new management and a bright future fueled by Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and other talented players.

GM Steve Yzerman just hopes that this solid vision of the future doesn’t get impaired by a wayward puck to the face. Months ago, Yzerman issued a challenge to players to wear visors next season, a challenge that makes Raw Charge’s John Fontana curious now that training camp is right around the corner.

As Fontana mentions, the team has some direct anecdotes about the importance of wearing a face shield. An errant puck struck Yzerman in the eye during the 2004 playoffs and ultimately ended his career. The Lightning team itself dealt with near-disaster when Stamkos’ nose was damaged by a Johnny Boychuk slap shot. While his visor didn’t keep him from getting hurt at all, one can only imagine the damage that would have come from that incident if he wasn’t wearing one. Instead of scary consequences, Stamkos barely missed any shifts during that Game 7 match against the Boston Bruins.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Ryan Malone is among the players who don’t want to deal with the negative aspects of wearing a visor. It’s reasonable for some to feel like a worried mother when a son goes out in cold weather without a jacket when it comes to visors, but it’s ultimately a player’s choice to make.

Malone is currently recovering from shoulder surgery, which is a situation the Lightning are monitoring closely. The latest update from Damian Cristodero reveals that Malone will probably miss all but two preseason games (he’s reportedly expected to appear in their final two contests on September 29 and October 1), yet he should be able to start the 2011-12 season.

Aside from polarizing winger Steve Downie, the Lightning’s top six forwards are almost exclusively finesse players. Having Malone in the mix (often on one of those top two lines) gives Tampa Bay a presence in front of the net and in the dirtier areas of the ice. Judging from his shoulder issues, that style of play takes its toll, but the Lightning obviously hope to have him back for the beginning of next season. So far, it sounds like that is a strong possibility – just don’t ask him to put on a visor.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)