Red Wings weigh in on mandatory visor rule debate

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Before Detroit took the ice against Edmonton on Thursday, there was lots of talk in the Red Wings locker room about the eye injury suffered by the Rangers Marc Staal this week.

In 2004, the Red Wings saw something like this happen to one of their own: Steve Yzerman.

Who can ever forget about the eye injury Yzerman suffered during Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Calgary Flames.

Justin Abdelkader and the Red Wings are well-aware of what happened to Yzerman and most recently Staal.

"You know, we kind of went around the locker room after we saw it [video clip of Staal] today and counted all my guys [who] don't have a visor," said Abdelkader. "I think it's about five guys."

NHL players are not required to wear visors, but Staal's incident has renewed the debate on making them mandatory across the league.

"It's protection, right," said Tomas Tatar, a Red Wings forward. "It's protecting your eyes and your upper head. Obviously you're really avoiding the risk [of injury] if you have it [visor]."

"It was mandatory over in Finland, " said Valtteri Filppula, a Red Wings forward, who played for the Grand Rapids Griffins before being called up.

"I got used to it, and then when I came over here it was mandatory in the AHL [American Hockey League], too. I never even really thought of taking it out. "

The National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) says that approximately 73 percent of players are wearing visors this season.

That's up from 69 percent in 2011-12.

Staal's injury is an unfortunate reminder of the dangers players can face if they do not wear a protective visor.

"The guys are educated," Jimmy Howard, a Red Wings goalie, said. "They know what the risk entails out there. We're playing a very high speed game, where things happen in a second. I think it's still a personal preference."



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