Saskatoon's Mike Simmons is a hockey lover. He collects memorabilia and used to be a goalie about 15 years ago.
Today, Simmons can barely see a puck or anything else. In 1998, diabetes destroyed the vision in Simmons left eye. A year later, he lost the vision in both eyes.
"I see light and there's no details," Simmons said. "I can see a black hand go in front of my face for example but I wouldn't see the lines and the hand anymore."
Despite his visual impairment, Simmons never lost his passion for playing hockey. For the past several weeks, Simmons has been working with a skating coach, getting ready for the 2013 Courage Canada National Blind Hockey Tournament in Toronto.
Blind hockey is played with traditional hockey rules, but there are a few modifications to assist with game flow and player safety.
"They're playing with a larger puck and it seems to make noise," Matt Morrow with Courage Canada said. "If you pay a little bit more attention you'd notice the referees are yelling out some instructions."
Players with the best sight play forward positions. Simmons is hoping to play defence. He said he's still getting used to the puck.
"Just trying to pick it up while it's still moving because once it stops it doesn't make a lot of noise. There's a lot of sweeping for the puck," Simmons said, laughing.
The 2013 Courage Canada National Blind Hockey Tournament faces off February 15-17 in Toronto.