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Visors or Carelessness

            I have been playing hockey for 11 years, 9 of them being at the competitive/rep. level and have seen first hand the dangers involved in the sport. Kids getting hit from behind, getting slashed, speared, poked etc. but there is one injury you will never see at the minor level and that is one of a facial injury, more specifically an eye injury. The reason you won't see this kind of injury is because we are forced to wear full facial protection, which protect our faces in their entirety. In the NHL it's different. The players are not required to wear any protection on their face at all. Only after Brian Berard lost complete vision in his right eye did the league even think of changing this rule. Now, because of this incident and a couple more that are similar, but not as severe, the league, when discussions for a new collective bargaining agreement occur, is going to try to mandate players to wear a protective visor as part of their safety equipment. This is ridiculous for three reasons, the first being that these players are fully grown men and are quite capable of deciding whether or not they feel a visor is necessary. Second, mandating visors will only add to the already growing negative aspect to the game. And third, even if the rule was established it would not be effective in the slightest form and then therefore not worth the effort.
             To tell grown men whether or not they are protecting themselves is absurd. These are people who have been playing hockey their whole lives and who have played with facial protection and without it. I feel that they are mature enough to make the decision themselves. Only 1/3 of the players in the NHL wear visors . There is a reason why these players feel that they don't need to wear them. Many of them say that it is because there vision is decreased, mainly because of the fog and condensation that builds up on the inside of the visor. The thing that suffers the most when wearing a visor is your peripheral vision.

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