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More visors in NHL could lead to more nasty high sticks

Oilers tough guy Dave Semenko (left) beats on Maple Leafs' Jerome Dupont during the 1986 season....

Oilers tough guy Dave Semenko (left) beats on Maple Leafs' Jerome Dupont during the 1986 season. Back in these days, Semenko didn't have to worry about messing up his knuckles on a visor. (QMI Agency)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:39 AM ET

TORONTO - The debate whether visors in the NHL will be the salvation or ruination of player safety will now be settled.

With the league moving on Tuesday to grandfather visors starting in 2013-14, there will certainly be a reduction in serious eye and facial injuries. But the old guard wonder if the so-called ‘rat’ element in the game will now breed unchecked.

Chris Kotsopoulos, who played defence 10 years in the 1980s, understands eye protection to ward off sticks and pucks is vital, but fears when the remaining 27% of players make the change in coming years that the dark side will be emboldened to carry sticks higher and act up.

“I think it’s gone that way already,” said Kotsopoulos, radio analyst for the NCAA Frozen Four finalist Quinnipiac Bobcats and a New York Rangers blogger. “All college players wear visors and now it’s inevitable the NHL will, too. But am I pleased about it? No.


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