Mandatory visor usage was one of the big developments to come from Wednesday’s NHL GMs meeting in Toronto.
According to NHLPA executive Mathieu Schneider, the players’ union will reportedly look at making visors mandatory for players entering the league, and will also explore grandfathering in visor usage for current players.
TVA’s Louis Jean reports the PA will poll its members on the grandfathering idea, and the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts notes that, if there’s enough support, the grandfather rule will go to the competition committee.
If it goes through, mandatory visor usage would be similar to the Helmet Rule modification of 1979.
In August of that year, NHL president John Ziegler announced that protective helmets would be mandatory, with the grandfather clause/exception pertaining to players that had already inked a pro contract and were willing to sign a waiver.
It’s not surprising mandatory visors have gained traction, given all that’s transpired lately.
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 conversation was sparked further when New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal — who doesn’t wear a visor — took a puck to his eye in a game versus Philadelphia on Mar. 5.
He’s been out of the lineup ever since and, on Monday, brother Jordan told NHL.com that Marc was planning on wearing a visor when he returns to game action.
More here, from TSN’s Darren Dreger and ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
Good support for eventual mandatory visor use in NHL. Could start with all entry level players. Percentage of players would increase.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 20, 2013
GMs today in the room were overwhelmingly in favor of grandfathering visors. Now it’s up to NHLPA this summer to get feedback from players
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) March 20, 2013