July 1, 2015


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Letters to the Editor

Facing a hockey truth

Letter of the day

Re: Visor use up, but old attitudes persist (March 14). Hardly an NHL game goes by without some player (with visor, or not) staggering off the ice clutching his face. When are NHL players going to get their heads out of soggy, entitled thinking and into full-face shields to protect themselves, their careers, their owners, teams, families and (dare I say it) fans?

An owner paying millions of dollars per year to his player wants that player to play -- all the time -- and not be sidelined (even briefly) because he took some telling blow on an unprotected face.

Philadelphia Flyer Chris Pronger takes a stick in the face in October 2011.

CP

Philadelphia Flyer Chris Pronger takes a stick in the face in October 2011.

So what to do? Re-design full-face shields that still look macho (of course) and which afford the optimal unimpeded eye-view looking out. A recent NHL goalie playing in the Stanley Cup had his face-cage modified to allow him to do just that. Surely face-shield designers can come up with a similar satisfactory shield for forwards and defencemen.

Jacques Plante defied tradition, stepped up to the proverbial plate and, although subjected to initial criticism from certain quarters, prevailed in his desire to wear full-face protection, and probably played more confidently, too.

Now all goalies wear the full mask. If a currently prestigious player like Sidney Crosby were to wear a re-designed full mask, who knows what kind of trend that would set? There would certainly be fewer fights and even fewer injuries. Everybody wins.

MICHAEL MOSKAL

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 15, 2013 A10

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