NHL should require facemasks

  • Article by: Corby Pelto
  • Updated: October 25, 2013 - 6:21 PM

Recent injuries suffered by Wild players could have been prevented.

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ericgus55Oct. 25, 13 7:09 PM

Ridiculous. Suggesting that Derek Boogaard would likely be alive if the NHL had required facemasks is shameful.

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owatonnabillOct. 25, 13 8:19 PM

Anybody remember Gump Worsley? Gump was a well-known goalie for the Canadiens and later the North Stars, retiring at about age 45 or so. Gump looked somewhat like a jack-o-lantern missing a few carved teeth because of his insistence that goalie in the NHL is best played sans mask. So he took a few pucks in the chops. His choice: masks were available at the time. The point being (in the case of you chaps who feel that absolute safety trumps major-league contracts) that hockey players as well as players of other sports are reasoning human beings who are perfectly capable of deciding just what and what is not justifiable safety equipment. Plain and simple, they don't need bleedinghearts deciding for them. So back off already!!

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farcicalOct. 25, 13 9:50 PM

Eliminate composite sticks (or establish tighter regulations), call automatic icing, and suspend players for 10 games if they drop the gloves. There...much easier and safer strategies to improve play - for fans and players alike.

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lechevalier5Oct. 25, 1311:40 PM

I took a puck in the face and it was good for 12 stitches. I still play hockey and I wouldn't consider playing without a mask. I like my teeth.

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JRBOct. 26, 13 2:29 AM

Just a matter of time before players will be wearing full facemasks in the NHL. They've gone from no helmets whatsoever, to very poor leather helmets that didn't cover the whole head, to better plastic helmets, to those with partial shields that at least protect the eyes. The next step will be incrementally extending those shields to protect the lower part of the face, then it will finally go to a full face shield similar to what they've been wearing in high school and college hockey for a couple of decades now. It will extend to the pros, but it'll probably take a few more years before it's mandated.

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badcopperOct. 26, 13 4:20 AM

Plain and simple, they don't need bleedinghearts deciding for them. So back off already!!---- agreed. Hey sparky, how bout we allow grown men to make decisions for themselves and live with the consequences of their decisions, eh?

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ericgus55Oct. 26, 13 7:15 AM

Out of curiosity, why isn't anyone suggesting the mandatory use of helmets or facemasks in basketball? Players get hurt playing basketball. Mandatory facemasks on batting helmets would prevent injuries in baseball, too. Safety gear, particularly face protection is a risk/reward decision. Yes, facemasks will prevent some injuries, but the impaired vision lowers the ability to play the game. There is also the 'risk compensation' theory (to which I ascribe) which basically believes that safety equipment can often give one an overinflated sense of safety (more than is warranted) and the wearer is more likely to do risky things and get hurt MORE. Example: If a hockey player puts on a full mask, he's more likely to block shots, take harder runs at others around the boards, or let the sticks get up in a risky manner and end up with just as many (often more) total injuries.

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George72Oct. 26, 13 8:01 AM

Will never happen because players won't look as cool.

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owatonnabillOct. 26, 13 8:59 AM

ericgus55 makes some good points. An emphasis on safety for our children in, say, HS sports is a good thing but when you're dealing with professional athletes whose abilities earn them millions of dollars, then the argument of safety equipment hampering play becomes paramount. Just where is that balance? Research can provide statistics, probabilities, etc., but in the end it should be up to the professional player to decide. HE doesn't interfere in how we earn our living. What gives us the right to interfere with his?

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sunstarmoonOct. 26, 13 9:51 AM

Are you kidding? Hockey's downfall began the day youth hockey started requiring wearing facemasks. Since then the finesse game has almost totally disappeared. The players instead feel invincible with their face shielded, they hit and goon people instead of learning to play the game the way it was intended to be played. Thankfully, in the pro's, you still see a bit of the old finesse game still in place. Don't ruin the last bastion of what hockey was intended to be.

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