Eric, Jordan Staal don visors: ‘It’s just being smarter’

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Two weeks after their brother suffered a scary eye injury, Carolina’s Eric and Jordan Staal have decided to wear protective visors for the first time in their NHL careers.

The two donned them for the first time during Friday’s practice in Raleigh. Both acknowledged the decision was partly made in response to watching their brother — Rangers defenseman Marc Staal — take a puck to the eye during a game against Philly on Mar. 5.

Marc has been out of action ever since.

“It’s a decision that’s been brewing for a little while,” Eric told the Raleigh News and Observer. “At this point I just feel like the risk [of injury] isn’t worth it right now, because of the injuries I’ve seen to other people in this organization, family.

“Sometimes you feel like you’re invincible, but as many guys have seen, you’re not. Unfortunately injuries can happen. It’s just being smarter.”

While this will mark the first time they’ve worn visors at the NHL level, both Staal brothers have worn visors before.

Eric wore one as recently as 2010 — during Olympic participation with Team Canada, during which they were mandatory — and Jordan wore one in 2007 while representing Team Canada at the World Hockey Championships in Moscow.

It’s also worth noting the youngest Staal — Jared, currently playing for AHL Charlotte — also wears as visor, as mandated by American League rules.