It’s time for hockey players to wear visors. The gruesome injury suffered last week by Toronto’s Bryan Berard has made it all too clear. Berard was hit in the eye with a stick, and almost lost his eye. Berard may never regain his vision and he probably won’t play again. His injury was totally accidental, which makes it even scarier. Nobody was wildly swinging their stick in anger, instead Berard got hit as another player followed through on a shot. Hockey is played at high speeds on a slippery surface with sticks and skates and a hard rubber puck flying around, and the possibility for injury is everywhere. The current mindset in hockey is that it’s ok to wear a visor if you are a finesse player, but a physical player who wears one is a coward, hiding from retaliation. That’s childish, and they used to say the same thing about helmets. So, the league should handle visors the same way. Force new players to wear visors, current players can decide for themselves. Eventually, everyone will have their faces protected, and the stigma will be gone. And I’ll rest easier. Because hockey is fun, until someone loses an eye.
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