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AHL to make facial protection mandatory

Argyle

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Feb 22, 2002
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Good on the AHL for taking this first step!!!
AHL to make facial protection mandatory

TSN.ca Staff
6/27/2006 3:06:54 PM
It looks as though the face of the game will be changing, at least at the minor league level.
Sources say the American Hockey League is preparing to make the use of facial protection mandatory for every player, including those from the NHL who are assigned to the AHL during the season.
The AHL is currently conducting its annual meeting in Hilton Head, S.C., and a vote on the visor issue is expected to take place tomorrow. The sense is that there is enough support amongst the AHL governors to enact the new rule, which would force every player, regardless of age or experience, to wear a visor in all AHL games beginning next season. There apparently is no provision to allow for “grandfathering,” that is, giving existing pro players the option and mandating it only for new players entering the league.
This potential move to mandatory visor use comes in the wake of Portland Pirate player Jordan Smith losing an eye as a result of being struck by a puck earlier this season. Smith, a first-year pro who was a top prospect of the NHL's Anaheim Ducks, was forced to retire because of the injury.
While the NHL has no plans to adopt the same rule, there is a possibility the NHL could change its rules on facial protection during the off-season.

To what extent that happens depends upon player reaction to the visor issue at the NHLPA's annual meeting in Whistler, B.C. next week. It's expected the NHLPA membership will be asked to vote on whether they would approve a rule that would force all new players coming into the NHL to wear a visor, but would allow all existing NHL players the right to choose.

If the NHLPA membership voted in favour of that, it's believed the NHL would adopt the new rule in time for play in the fall. If, however, the NHLPA membership rejects it, the league has no authority to unilaterally impose the rule.
 

Reccos

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It makes sense to me. As long as hockey has so many toothless stars who when unshaven and without their plates in on game days have the appearance of Argyle's cousins from the Ozarks. Just kidding, Argyle.
 

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