On the Saturday edition of Hotstove Tonight, an animated Kevin Weekes had a message for National Hockey League players not wearing visors:
"Hello? Do you want to earn money, or do you not want to earn money? Do you want to shorten your window for your income as a player?"
This came on the heels of an injury to Rangers defenceman Marc Staal, who was struck in the eye by a deflected puck Tuesday night. Staal went down when a shot by Philadelphia defenceman Kimmo Timonen from the blue line clipped the stick of Flyers forward Jake Voracek and caromed up into Staal's eye, causing a cut.
Staal, who wasn't wearing a visor, writhed on the ice and kicked his legs. He held his face while he was down and when he skated off the ice, assisted by a Rangers trainer, toward the dressing room.
"Why is this happening, guys? I understand it's a comfort issue, for some guys it's a visual issue, but ultimately you play with the visor in Juniors, you wear a cage when you're playing U.S. college," Weekes said. "Protect yourselves."
Hockey Night in Canada commentator Glenn Healy said 73 per cent of players already wear a form of eye protection, and suggested the league grandfathers a rule making visors mandatory for players entering the league.
"Just say to the guys moving forward — Connor McDavid, Seth Jones — you're going to keep it on," he said. "You've had it on the whole time.
"The AHL — you have to wear a visor. This season, 771 fights. So you can still fight with that thing on."
The panel also discussed what's on the agenda for the next general manager meetings.
Goalie equipment size will be a topic, as will hybrid icing, following its success in the AHL.
One other topic being considered is teams switching ends in overtime as a way to increase the amount of games ending in overtime rather than shootout. Healy mentioned 57 per cent of games that go into the extra period end up in a shootout.
"Since the majority of goals are scored in the second period, why not, when you get into overtime in a regular season game, switch ends," he said.
The suggestion would create a longer change, opening up the game and creating more chances.With files from The Associated Press