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Looks like Ladd's visor here to stay

Optometrist wife will see to it

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The heat is on in the Ladd household.

It's not because Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd has only two points in the first seven games of the NHL season.

It is because Ladd's wife Brandy has been urging the captain to attach a visor to his helmet.

It's for many of the usual reasons, including safety, but also worth noting that Brandy Ladd is an optometrist.

Ladd's wife has been in Mexico this week to attend a wedding and the captain is sure of one thing when she returns.

"I expect I'm going to be hearing about this more," Ladd said Saturday.

Thursday's scary incident in Ottawa, in which Ladd took a deflected puck to the top of his nose, only piles up more evidence in favour of the visor.

He did finish the game, but Ladd took six stitches and spent a whole lot of blood. Saturday, his cut-up and bruised face, including a black left eye, was not a joy to behold.

"Definitely, not a good look," Ladd joked with reporters.

What he will see with a visor, however, won't be a whole lot different than before.

"The vision's fine," he said Saturday. "It'd be nice if the swelling went down a little more."

Ladd has tried a visor before, while playing for Canada at the World Championships last spring. It was mandatory for the tournament.

"I'm sure it won't take long to get used to," Ladd said after the morning skate Saturday. "The World Championships, I got used to it in a game or two so it was fine."

At that tournament, Ladd told reporters that at home, he was starting to hear the argument for wearing the visor permanently.

As for the state of his face after being hit with the puck, the healing has begun and the team's medical personnel didn't have any surprises for him when he was examined more thoroughly on Friday.

"He (the doctor) didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know," Ladd said. "As long as I can still play, I'm happy."

Saturday, Ladd was able to play against his former and first NHL team, the Carolina Hurricanes, which always brings a smile to his face, bruises or not.

As a pro rookie, the 2004 first-round draft pick won the Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006.

"You always have a little extra motivation for teams that trade you away," Ladd said. The Canes dealt him to Chicago near the 2008 trade deadline. "Every time it feels like when I've played them I've had a little more jump in my step."

He said he admired the team's veterans immensely -- the likes of Doug Weight, Mark Recchi, Rod Brind'Amour, Ray Whitney, Glen Wesley and Kevyn Adams.

"We had a really older group and it was great for a young guy to be part of it and see how those guys worked," Ladd said. "The biggest thing was their work ethic, on and off the ice."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 23, 2011 $sourceSection0

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