Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - The men who are in charge of the 30 teams in
the National Hockey League met at the league's Canadian office on Wednesday,
but it was the players' association which made the most headway with an
important issue facing its ranks.
The NHL has gone on record previously as wanting all of its players to wear
visors attached to their helmets, but the players have expressed resistance to
the league imposing its will regarding the issue.
Mathieu Schneider, who currently serves as special assistant to executive
director Don Fehr, said the union will push for current players who do not
wear visors to be exceptions to any future rule.
"I think by the sheer number of players wearing them, I think you have seen a
big change," Schneider said. "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
hypocrite myself because I played my entire career without one. 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
Roughly 73 percent of NHL players wear some sort of facial protection, and
every player who has entered the league has played with some sort of
protection before. The NHLPA said it plans to poll its membership this summer
to see if mandatory visor usage has gained more traction than it did the last
time the subject was broached four years ago.
As far as the general managers were concerned, major topics on the table
included: a coach's challenge for video review; the implementation of a
hybrid-icing rule; issues surrounding embellishment of fouls by players;
modification of rules regarding the size of goalie equipment; potential tweaks
to the rules governing shootouts and faceoff concerns.
The challenge option was introduced in 2010 but shot down by a 28-2 vote,
while goaltending equipment has been the topic of discussion before in finding
ways to maintain safety but increase scoring which did not entail altering the
size of nets.
The Sports Network