Staal eye injury re-ignites visor debate

Marc Staal's injury re-opened an ongoing debate in hockey circles.

Marc Staal’s ugly eye injury Tuesday night brought back memories of Bryan Berard.

Berard was never quite the same after Marian Hossa accidentally hit him in the eye with his stick back in 2000

Staal wasn’t hit by a stick but suffered a similarly scary injury Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers when he took a deflected shot from the point right off the eye and went down in severe pain and left the ice a bloody mess.

“It’s scary,” Staal’s teammate Brian Boyle told the New York Post after the game. “It makes you queasy. He’s a friend, not only a teammate.”

The injury isn’t expected to be career-threatening but the Staal scare has brought back an ongoing debate around hockey: Should NHLers be forced to wear visors?

While Don Cherry might not approve, there has been a strong push from the National Hockey League and its governors, according to the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post spoke to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly Wednesday, who said the league is in favour of mandatory visors.

According to Brooks, the number of players wearing visors has dramatically risen in excess of 70 per cent when it was just 56 per cent back in 2009.


The players do not necessarily agree with the league’s stance on this matter and believe they should be entitled to their own personal decisions.

James Neal, who wears a visor, spoke on the issue Wednesday on HOCKEY CENTRAL @ Noon. He said he does not believe visors should be mandatory.

“I think if you want to wear one, then wear one,” Neal said. “If not, then it’s alright. When something happens you’ll definitely see more guys putting them on.”

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