NHL GMs Reach Consensus On Mandatory Visors; Players To Vote On Issue
NHL players yesterday made the "first significant move" during the league's GM meetings, "acknowledging that safety is an issue and agreeing to take the matter of mandatory visors for players coming into the league to a vote," according to Kevin McGran of the TORONTO STAR. Under the proposed idea, current NHLers who do not wear visors would have the "right to remain visor-free as the new policy is grandfathered in." Meanwhile, as the league’s 30 GMs "wound up nearly eight hours of talks, it was clear there was little consensus about the many issues dogging the league." But oversized goalie equipment is "one issue that will be tackled by next season." Also, NHL GMs "like the idea of hybrid icing to replace touch icing, something the AHL has experimented with" (TORONTO STAR, 3/21). NHL Senior VP & Dir of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said of grandfathering in the proposed visor rule, "The NHLPA told us they had some traction in that area" (ESPN.com, 3/20). SPORTSNET's Chris Johnston wrote there "certainly seems to have been a shift in thinking." The union for years has "vehemently defended the right of each player to choose if he wants to wear a visor while pointing to the fact that the number who elected to do so was consistently on the rise." NHLPA Special Assistant to the Exec Dir Mathieu Schneider said, "With the injuries we've seen, part of me thinks the time has come." Johnston wrote the "mere fact that NHL players are set to vote on the issue amounts to progress -- even if there's no certainty that they'll support the motion" (SPORTSNET.ca, 3/20).