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article imageOp-Ed: In the NHL there are very few wearing helmets with ear covers

By Daniel Boyington     Apr 22, 2012 in Sports
Toronto - With the big clampdown from the NHL on head injuries, why are there so few players that wear proper ear protection and visors on their helmets? I would bet almost 80% of NHL players wear visors, what's the others excuse/reasons?
Patrick Kane with visor and ear protection
Patrick Kane with visor and ear protection
Is it the 'Old Boys Style,' thinking, 'macho men,' or a dangerous misguided and uninformed decision.
And then maybe it's the compliments Don Cherry, Commentator on Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) gives players as encouragement for being "real men, look no visor, he's not a suck."
How about holding a young boys hand, with his damaged eye, dripping through your fingers, because he wasn't wearing a face-mask. Or about telling an NHL player, "don't worry Johnny, the stick did not go into your eardrum too far."
Is that a stretch? Not at all, several NHL and other Professional Hockey Leagues from around the world have experienced these horrendous injuries, and some have been career ending, but Don Cherry goes on to say things such as, "Look at him, he's a real warrior, no mask," just the kind of players we need in the NHL, players losing eyes, and yet they are preventable, by wearing a face-mask with ear protection.
I don't know if it is still a rule, but if you lose an eye, you cannot play in the NHL, is that worth taking the chance and losing your career?
And the NHL says their main focus and concern is 'player safety,' what a bunch of hogwash.
More and more hockey players are getting concussions
More and more hockey players are getting concussions
Since all minor leagues require all player to wear full masks/visors on helmets, why not make it a rule, that all players coming into the NHL, don't have a choice, they must wear helmets with visors and hopefully smart enough to get a helmet with ear protection too.
Since so many players have been concussed this year with serious head injuries, we all must remember the helmet only protects the outer part of the head, and yet the (egg, brain) which is inside, can still cause a concussion with a violet hit to the head.
Sadly back in the 60's-70's it was a 'badge of honor' to have a black eye or cut on your face, we have advanced from that, and learned that face and head injuries can end a career. It use to be, goalies, did not wear masks of any kind, we have past that point can we improve further?
We've come a long way, to the days when goalies did not wear masks, when players did not wear helmets, let's make the next step, where players eyes must be protected across the board, (Not optional) and let's get ear protection on all helmets, for the safety of our idols and our children.
We've come a long way, so let's not stop now, and at the very least let's get ear protection for our children, even if the NHL players think it might be a little 'wimpy.'
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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