There was yet another scare in the NHL on Tuesday night, but this one didn't have anything to do with a high hit or a "People's Elbow."
Instead, it was a skate to the face of Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton, who caught the blade of Blackhawks winger Fernando Pisani above his right eye. The B's winger received over 40 stitches as a result, but if that skate blade were a few centimeters lower, one can only imagine the damage it could have caused.
This incident comes about two weeks after Vancouver's Manny Malhotra needed not one, but two surgeries after taking a puck to his eye. There are countless instances we could reference, as players take pucks and sticks to the face on a nightly basis. One has to wonder: Could such injuries be avoided if the NHL required all players to wear a visor?
Granted, there will always be injuries in the NHL, and there's nothing the league can do to stop them completely. Also, some of today's visors are no wider or longer (or stronger) than a strip of of clear tape, but one has to imagine that something — anything — that can even resemble some sort of protection is worth mandating.
The problem with visors is that they fog up, get scratched, somewhat impair ones line of vision and, worst of all, they give Mike Milbury another reason to bemoan the Wussification of America.
It just doesn't seem right to enforce such a rule just three decades after players weren't even required to wear any form of head protection. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) requires that "Players born after Dec. 31, 1974 shall wear a visor. Tinted visors [are] not permitted." Both the AHL and the ECHL have a mandatory visor rule, too, so why stop at the NHL?