The NHL again is dealing with the issue of whether visors should be mandatory after Rangers D Marc Staal was hit in the eye with a puck Tuesday, but ESPN N.Y.'s Katie Strang cited sources as saying that although the issue "was raised during the labor talks" this offseason, the union "held firm to protect the 'player's choice' in the matter" (ESPNNY.com, 3/6). In Vancouver, Cam Cole writes, "You can rip the NHLPA, if you like, for its cavalier attitude toward the health of its own members but the PA is only the players' mouthpiece." This is "rank-and-file's position" (VANCOUVER SUN, 3/7). TSN's Bob McKenzie noted the NHLPA claims it is “educating” players on the merits of wearing a visor. But the only way the union's position changes is if an “insurance carrier says they’re not going to insure contracts for eye injuries for players that don’t wear visors” (“NHL Live,” NBC Sports Network, 3/6).
JUST SAY NO: SPORTING NEWS' Anthony Witrado wrote MLB is finally "thinking proactively" regarding drug testing. While MLB has "the best drug-testing program of all professional sports," the league and MLBPA are "not ignoring the cries coming from fans or out of clubhouses." MLB also "isn’t ignoring the fact that some of its most recognizable players continue to test positive for PEDs." Witrado: "Whatever MLB and the MLBPA decide to do to stiffen penalties, that they are willing to sit down and amend the current collective bargaining agreement and drug program is a major step forward, maybe even bigger than HGH testing" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 3/4).
A TRADITION UNLIKE...: BLOOMBERG NEWS' Erik Matuszewski reports LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan continues to hope Augusta National "may one day open its gates to an event for the sport’s top women’s tour" after the club added female members last year. Whan said that he "contacts the club ... every year about hosting a women’s tournament in addition to the Masters." He added that he is "not discouraged about being rebuffed" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 3/7).