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NHL Players' Assn. plans a survey about grandfathering in visors

March 20, 2013|By Helene Elliott
  • Pittburgh's Matt Niskanen, left, and Sidney Crosby, celebrating a goal against the Capitals on Tuesday, prefer helmets with visors.
Pittburgh's Matt Niskanen, left, and Sidney Crosby, celebrating… (Gene J. Puskar / Associated…)

NHL general managers met Wednesday in Toronto to discuss a variety of issues, including player safety, but didn’t put forward any rule changes.

The NHL Players’ Assn., which was represented there, said it will poll its members this summer for their thoughts on the mandatory use of visors, which the league favors but which players have maintained should be their choice to make.

“I think by the sheer number of players wearing them, I think you have seen a big change,” former NHL defenseman Mathieu Schneider, now the special assistant to the executive director of the NHLPA, told reporters in Toronto.

“That's going to be something we will be talking to the players about, certainly this year. I'm certainly an advocate. A bit of a hypocrite myself because I played my entire career without one," Schneider said.

“The game is extremely fast, and guys come into the league having had to have worn a visor before. We are definitely going to talk to the guys about grandfathering them in.”

Should players vote to grandfather in the use of visors — as was the process when helmets became mandatory — the joint player-league competition committee and the NHL’s board of governors would have to approve.

The general managers also voted to recommend a reduction in the height of goaltenders’ pads and recommended video review take place when four-minute high-sticking penalties are assessed, in order to be sure the infraction was committed with an opponent’s stick. They also backed video review in shootouts to determine if the puck stops.

Hybrid icing also got support from the general managers, and that issue will go to the competition committee. However, players are said to be opposed to any change there, making it unlikely that it will be adopted in the near future.

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