Mats talks visor

Mats Sundin was injured in a game against the Ottawa Senators at the ACC on Oct. 5th, 2005....

Mats Sundin was injured in a game against the Ottawa Senators at the ACC on Oct. 5th, 2005. (SUN/Greg Henkenhaf)

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

His left eye bloodshot and nearly closed, Mats Sundin met the media at Lakeshore Lions Arena yesterday and said he will definitely maybe wear a visor for the remained of his NHL career.

"I think I have used all my good breaks,"said the Maple Leafs captain, who suffered a fractured left orbital bone against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

"I have had some close calls with my eyes before. When I start playing (again), I'm going to have to wear one for sure and hopefully I can continue with it.

"That would be my goal."

Sundin will have a better handle on his immediate future once the swelling subsides in his cheek.

In four or five days, he will be re-examined by doctors and it will be determined whether he needs surgery. If so, he could be out longer than four to six weeks.

Sundin has been told to rest and is being chauffeured around when he has to leave the house. Sundin, who has been placed on injured reserve, has not had major injury trouble since breaking into the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques 15 years ago, but clearly is frustrated with his situation.

"That's the biggest issue I think I have with this whole deal," Sundin said. "Both mentally and physically, you prepare so long to start another season. It has been exciting and the feeling among our players has been great.

"That is the toughest part, to miss out on practice, travel and being part of the group when we play in the next few weeks. It is going to be tough. But I will get back as soon as I can."

The Maple Leafs recalled Kyle Wellwood from the Toronto Marlies and he will be in the lineup tonight against the Montreal Canadiens at the Air Canada Centre.

Sundin's teammates were shocked on Wednesday when he was hit in the eye area with the puck and fell to the ice, kicking in pain and throwing his gloves off.

Memories of the injury suffered by former Leafs defenceman Bryan Berard on March 11, 2000, danced through Sundin's mind.

Sundin was on the ice when Berard was high-sticked by Marian Hossa and suffered a serious eye injury.

"I did not see really for almost five minutes with my left eye and that makes you concerned," Sundin said. "It came back pretty quick. My vision is supposed to be back to normal."

Sundin was able to crack a joke when he was asked how his vision was: "It's blurry, but I definitely see all you guys here."

Should visors be mandatory for all NHL players? The NHL Players' Association, as it often does, has put the issue before its members. There will be an on-line survey conducted but, in the past, players have overwhelmingly said it should be a choice.

"It's a good question," Sundin said.

"It's tough to (teach) old dogs to sit. When you have injuries to your face, you re-evaluate your own thoughts about wearing one and it will be that in my case for sure."

Don't be surprised if grandfathering the use of visors for all players entering the league is one day implemented in the NHL.

It happened with helmets.

"I could see that coming, definitely,"said Wellwood, who does not wear a visor.

"Management has to protect their assets."

MATS SUNDIN ... MR. RELIABLE

- Mats Sundin is not known for missing long stretches of games. Here's a look at his track record since his NHL career began in 1990:

- Mats Sundin is not known for missing long stretches of games. Here's a look at his track record since his NHL career began in 1990:

TEAM SEASON GP MISSED

Quebec 1990-91 80 0

Quebec 1991-92 80 0

Quebec 1992-93 80 4

Quebec 1993-94 84 0

Toronto 1994-95 47 1*

Toronto 1995-96 76 6

Toronto 1996-97 82 0

Toronto 1997-98 82 0

Toronto 1998-99 82 0

Toronto 1999-00 73 9

Toronto 2000-01 82 0

Toronto 2001-02 82 0

Toronto 2002-03 75 7

Toronto 2003-04 81 1

* - LOCKOUT SEASON, 48-GAME SCHEDULE


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