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NFL CANADA


Should face shields be mandatory in the NHL?
Mon, January 19, 2009

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

Forget waiting for the end of the all-star break. If defenceman Mike Van Ryn gets the green light from the doctors today, Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson wants him in a game this week -- either against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight or the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

With one condition.

Wilson is adamant that Van Ryn -- who has missed 27 games as a result of two concussions this season -- returns with a better helmet, a proper mouth guard and chin strap, and a face shield.

In fact, Wilson said yesterday that he would like to see every player on his team wear a face shield, although that's not going to happen any time soon.

Wilson went on a mini-crusade about the benefits of face shields, and how it is ridiculous that many NHLers still resist the idea of wearing one. Wilson believes that once a player starts wearing a face shield, he eventually gets used to it.

What's your opinion on face shields? Do they reduce the amount or severity of injuries during a game of hockey in the NHL? Have your say in our forum.

Wilson pushing for face shields



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14 Comments

Leave shields as optional, but if a player suffers any such preventable eye or facial injury, the medical expenses should come out of his pocket--not the team's, insurance company's, or the taxpayers.

Make it about money and you'll get the attention of the players.
Russ, 2009-02-13 11:11:23

It's only a matter of time before face shields become mandatory,just like helmets were quite some time ago.They could be grandfathered in just like helmets were so that the older players could finish their careers without them,but eventually all players would be wearing them.It's just like wearing seat belts,hardhats,safety harness,safety glasses etc.It doesn't matter how tough the player thinks he is,a puck or stick in the eye or mouth is a lot tougher.
John Boy, 2009-02-07 11:07:48

Jim S.:

The problem is that you're dealing with guys who are not that bright to begin with.

I suppose if they are stupid enough not to protect themselves, then if they lose their eye, they deserve it.

Most will only learn the hard way.
gordholio, 2009-02-05 01:55:09

I guess until you lose an eye from a high stick, you'll keep thinking that visors are for sissies.
gordholio, 2009-02-05 01:53:03

Yes, face shields and some warm mittens too.

I think their moms should be allowed to stay in the dressing rooms after they're done tying skates, just to make sure the boys (or the girls in Toronto) are dressed properly before heading out on the ice.
Probert, 2009-01-29 11:50:52

Well masks are mandatory for junior players and i think the eyes of the players in the NHL are just as important.
Brigand, 2009-01-27 20:34:47

Well we demand that our junior players wear masks of some sort which begs the question are the eyes of a youth more important than those of an adult.I think not.
Brigand, 2009-01-24 08:14:50

It's getting a little bit ridiculous now.

How about just suiting them up in a bunch of steel, give them some really long poles, take them off of the ice and put them on horses. Wait, there's already something like that isn't there?

OR.....

Get rid of the shields.

Get rid of the helmets.

Go back to the pads without all the hard plastic.

This whole debate is stupid.

It's a personal choice and should remain that way.

Face shields DO NOT prevent concussions, wearing the helmet properly (tighten the chin strap) and mouthguards do though.
S.T. Collisse, 2009-01-22 12:19:44

Make them mandatory and give a penalty if they or your helmet come off for any reason short of a stiff check. Either that or there should be an additional headguard under your helmet that at least prevents you from severe injury if your head hits the ice. While they're at it, there should also be some sort of neck protection made mandatory as well to prevent neck injuries from impact with the boards.
Rick W., 2009-01-19 22:17:35

Yes, but they should be peel aways.
Andy V., 2009-01-19 19:17:06

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