SUN Hockey Pool

NHL notes: NHLPA not keen on mandatory visors

The NHL wants visors to be mandatory for all players. (QMI Agency)

The NHL wants visors to be mandatory for all players. (QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:03 PM ET

The debate over whether visors should be mandatory in the NHL is heating up.

The NHL wants visors to be mandatory, but in order for that to become a reality, the NHL Players’ Association must approve the change. It doesn’t sound like that will happen soon.

“The players support visor use being a matter of individual choice,” NHLPA special assistant Mathieu Schneider said in a statement Wednesday. “We continue to regularly educate the players on the benefits of wearing a visor so that each player can make an informed decision.

“We will further discuss visors and other important equipment-related matters at our player meetings this summer.”

The NHLPA said Thursday that 73% of NHLers wear visors, up from 69% in 2011-12.

After New York Rangers defenceman Marc Staal took a deflected slap shot to the eye in Tuesday’s tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers, deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the New York Times that the league “continues to support a rule that would make visors mandatory in NHL games.” Daly also noted the NHLPA’s resistance to such a rule change.

Staal is out of the Rangers’ lineup indefinitely, although doctors are confident he will make a full recovery.

BLACKHAWK DOWN

The Chicago Blackhawks could be without one of their top point-producers for nearly a month.

Patrick Sharp, injured during Wednesday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche, will be out for up to three weeks, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Sharp was driven into the boards by Ryan O’Byrne and left the ice favouring his left shoulder during the third period in Denver.

Sharp has 18 points in 24 games this season.

The Blackhawks called up forward Brandon Bollig from the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs Thursday.

DOWN ON DOUGHTY

Scoring normally comes easy for Drew Doughty.

Since scoring six goals in his rookie season with the Los Angeles Kings in 2008-09, the defenceman has had season goal totals of 16, 11 and 10.

Twenty-one games into this season? Zip. Zero. Nada.

“It’s frustrating, obviously,” Doughty told NHL.com. “It’s in my head too often. I want to get that goal really bad.”

Doughty is no stranger to early-season funks – last season he had just two goals after 21 games – and he seems to be content about the defensive side of his game.

“It’s not that I'm cheating or doing anything different to try and get it,” he said. “I’m still just playing my solid defensive game and if I have that opportunity, I’ll try to put one in the net. Yeah, it’s frustrating, but the coaches are happy with the way I’m playing. If I don’t score a goal and we're winning, it really doesn’t matter.”

TRUCE FOR DAMPHOUSSE, WIFE?

Hostilities between former Montreal Canadiens captain Vincent Damphousse and his estranged wife, who have been engaged in a bitter divorce that saw both file assult charges against each other, may soon be coming to an end.

Damphousse’s ex-wife Allana Henderson was scheduled to stand trial on one count of assault Thursday but the case was postponed after the Crown proposed a settlement to both parties. Prosecutor Anne-Andree Charrette did not give details of the offer.

“The Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions submitted offers of settlement, and the parties are thinking,” said Charrette.

The case has dragged on since March 2011 , when two complaints were filed with Montreal police. Damphousse accused his ex-wife of assault while Henderson made the same claim.

Damphousse, 45, was eventually charged with six counts of assault against his ex-wife.

Both defendants pleaded not guilty in March 2011 .

BRIEFLY

The Boston Bruins sent down forward Chris Bourque, son of Hall of Fame defenceman Raymond Bourque, to the AHL’s Providence Bruins ... The Carolina Hurricanes placed forward Tim Brent on injured reserve and recalled Jeremy Welsh ... The Nashville Predators sent forward Matt Halischuk to the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals on a conditioning assignment ... The Washington Capitals recalled goaltender Philipp Grubauer from the AHL’s Hershey Bears.


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