Tuesday, June 04, 2013

NHL, NHLPA agree on new visor rule

Toronto, ON -- The National Hockey League and its Players' Association have agreed to new rules regarding the implementation of visors.

Beginning next season, all players who enter the league will be required to wear a visor, while those with at least 26 games of NHL experience to their credit will have the option on whether or not to attach the extra protection to their headgear.

The accord was struck following a meeting of the league's competition committee on Tuesday.
This new agreement is similar to the one made between both sides back in 1979 regarding the use of helmets, where all players who entered the NHL for the 1979-80 season were required to use one and all remaining players were not required to do so.

In addition, Sportsnet of Canada revealed that the penalty for engaging in a fight while wearing a visor will be altered.

As reported back in March at the GM meetings, roughly 73 percent of NHL players wear some sort of facial protection, and every player who has entered the league has played with some sort of protection before.

The NHLPA said it planned to poll its membership this summer to see if mandatory visor usage has gained more traction than it did the last time the subject was broached four years ago.

Back then, only 30 percent of the membership wanted grandfathering of visors, and that number has jumped significantly according to NHLPA special assistant to the executive director Mathieu Schneider, who declined to give a specific percentage. Reports have stated it to be greater than 80 percent at this point.

In other meaningful discussions, the competition committee agreed to test hybrid icing during the preseason with an option to continue testing in the regular season; recommended that the depth of nets be reduced by four inches; have the NHL and NHLPA create a separate committee to investigate the size of player and goaltender equipment; and subject all double-minor penalties for high sticking to video review

As is custom, all recommendations and agreements will have to go before the Board of Governors, who are next set to meet later this month.

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