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Coburn's Injury Completely Preventable

Philadelphia defenseman Braydon Coburn's injury last night really bugged me. How many times do we have to watch these incidents before players realize that protecting their vision is far more important than looking tough?

Visors won't prevent all face injuries. Chris Clark still probably would have been hurt both times he got struck by a puck. But a half shield almost certainly would saved Coburn (and perhaps the Flyers' chances).

No word yet on the extent of Coburn's injury.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 12, 2008; 9:05 AM ET
 
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Comments

You may have noticed that we were having blog issues this morning. Seems like everything is up and running now, though.

Posted by: Tarik | May 12, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Tarik! You forgot to say "FIRST!"

Posted by: Leeguru | May 12, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

@Leeguru

Ha! It seems I did. Can I have a do-over?

Posted by: Tarik | May 12, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that a lot of people complained in the past that half visors interfered with players' vision, if they were looking down at the puck or something that might obstruct their periphery. And a guy who doesn't have a facial injury and is wearing a full visor? Please.

I don't disagree with the opinion Tarik, but either someone's gotta reinvent the wheel or they're gonna have to swallow some pride when a rule is made mandatory.

Just my $.02 (Cdn)

Posted by: Xxxx Troll | May 12, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, you get a free pass on this one. You are, afterall, the Beat Writing God that we all worship, hanging on every word. Don't let it happen again!

Posted by: Leeguru | May 12, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

XxxxTroll:

"And a guy who doesn't have a facial injury and is wearing a full visor? Please."

Are you talking NHL or any player? I'm not sure I agree either way. I've worn a full cage for years...doesn't obstruct my vision and has surely saved me from some unnecessary injuries.

Posted by: Blueline | May 12, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Not sure how I feel about the mandatory visor thing.. but I can't tell you how many eyes I would have lost just playing pickup without a visor due to idiots being careless with their sticks.

Posted by: Jordan | May 12, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

It's not a toughness thing, it's a matter of vision. Your peripheral vision gets exponentially better the less facial protection you have. Players know the risk and the reward.

Posted by: tnussbau | May 12, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Team USA got shafted, however what a lack of control showed by the guy ( sorry dont know his name)who insisted on fighting the unwilling Finn by HITTING HIM REPEATEDLY WITH HIS GLOVES ON, THAT PUSSY SHOULD BE SUSPENED FOR BEING GUTLESS

Posted by: wendel | May 12, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Wendel,

You get a MATCH PENALTY if your gloves come off in the world championships. Do some research before you start calling names.

Posted by: Jordan | May 12, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@tnussbau,
The reward must not be that great, or great passers like Backstrom, Crosby, Ovie and Malkin wouldn't wear them. The idea of playing a sport in which a puck weighing almost a half pound is moving at speeds of up to 100 mph without eye protection is INSANE. Eye injuries from the puck are almost 100% preventable by a half shield. The league should have made the half shield mandatory long ago.

Posted by: Preston | May 12, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

He should also wear an umbrella on his back to shield him from the beer bottles at Verizon Center. He loves it!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 12, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I play in an a rec league over in Laurel and a couple of summers ago, i took an elbow tot he face. Thankfully I wear a full cage, but th elbow was so vicious it knocked me off my feet and dented the cage so badly that I actually got a cut on my eyebrow that required 5 stitches. If I had taken that elbow directly to the face, I don't know what would have happened to me. And this is in a NON checking league haha.

I don't understand why players choose to skate without a visor. For that matter, I can't imagine why Langway and Mactavish chose to play without helmets.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | May 12, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@jordan
Point is it is gutless ..........penalty or not.
Like spearing butt ending etc.

Posted by: WENDEL | May 12, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@jordan
Point is it is gutless ..........penalty or not.
Like spearing butt ending etc.

Posted by: WENDEL | May 12, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, speaking of Clark, how's his groin injury coming along? thanbks

Posted by: wanggo | May 12, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, it doesn't make too much of a difference, since players like Ovechkin and Malkin and Backstrom and Fedorov can see just fine with a visor on. You can play the game without teeth but not without eyes. I know it can interfere with peripheral vision to some extent; Its a matter of the NHL getting manufacturers to sign on. THey can get Reebok to work for years on bonehead jersey design, i'm sure they can spend years on a bonehead visor design.


Posted by: oo7 | May 12, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

So you're saying that Coburn's injury was the reason the Flyers lost? Interesting then, that the Penguins managed to beat a Flyers team WITH him the game before, isn't it?

And don't even touch the lack of Timonen. That's been so overplayed that I don't even want to hear it again, especially out of you.

Posted by: Teka | May 12, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

This is an old argument but Tarik, I'm with you 100% with this.

Posted by: dsb | May 12, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I thought wendel's mommy took away his internet access. How'd he get back on here?

Posted by: keef | May 12, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@Teka -

I equally loathe the Flyers and the Pens so I think i have a pretty unbiased opinion.

Tarik did not say that losing Coburn was the reason the Flyers lost. He just made a point that losing him hurt their chances. It would be silly to argue that losing their best and arguably second best Defenseman isn't going to the Flyers chances of winning.

And Timonen's absence is not being overplayed. Anytime an $8,000,000 D-man is out for a series, its a big story and is clearly having an impact on the series.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | May 12, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Cages impeded Visors don't impede vision. There is nothing but clear along all of the perifery vision that you have without the visor. Ear guards don't impede vision or hearing. Clark's 2nd injury, which could have killed him was so preventable, it's sad that they don't make the ear pieces mandatory. Since when do ears look menacing?

Posted by: 121 K | May 12, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I think a grandfather clause to make visors mandatory would be the way to go.

Eight of the top ten point getters for this past regular season wore visors. Not implying anything, I was just wondering and looked it up.

Posted by: Zammy | May 12, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Player should decide and nobody else.

Posted by: Chief | May 12, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Chief, do you feel players should decide whether or not to wear helmets? That decision was taken away from the players years ago.

If I were a GM (and I'm not sure if this sort of thing is allowed by the CBA), I would require every contract to have a visor clause. It's one thing to lose a player to an injury that isn't preventable, but to lose a player like Coburn because he doesn't wear a visor and as a result hurts THE ENTIRE TEAM is just a waste.

Posted by: Jeff | May 12, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@ 121 K,

Visors impede the crap out of your vision when they fog uncontrollably. Just saying.

Posted by: Jordan | May 12, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

visors have pluses and minuses, but ultimately it's the players who are going to decide. the league could barely mandate the use of decent helments (see gretzky and it looks like chelios uses one from his montreal days). as more guys come up who are used to wearing them in the junior leagues or college, then you'll see even more adoption.

but tough guys will not wear them as they really can't fight with them. i think there is actually a penalty for fighting or starting a fight with a visor. how about flip up visors which retract as soon as the gloves drop.

i think even more overlooked is the mouthpiece. lots of guys wear them, but many don't. i believe research shows that they can significantly reduce the incidence and severity of concussions. seesm like there are more incidences of concussions than there are facial injuries and they seem to be much more serious.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 12, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I think visors actually look cool. Especially if we un-Broduer the rule about tinted ones. :) But understand about the vision and fogging issues. When I wore glasses it was a pain. Can imagine in places like Verizon Center (where the air seems so warm) the visors would fog up a lot.

Anyone else catch the interview with Tom Glavine during last night's game. I did not know that he was also drafted by the Pens. Was pretty cool for a future hall of fame baseball player to say that he thinks hockey is the best game to watch live. Something tells me he may have an e-mail or text message from Bud Selig this morning though.

Posted by: Kim | May 12, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The whole visor/no-visor issue reminds me of a question I had this season. Noticed during pregame warmup that several players chose not to wear helmets this season that had worn them in the past. I wondered if there was any rhyme or reason as to why Ovie or the others decided to bag the helmets for warm-up. I figured that Green just left his off during playoffs to show off the hawk, but several like Brash and Ovie did not wear one for quite some time.

Posted by: Kim | May 12, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Nothing about the Worlds? Ovechkin hating on Nicky's Swedes? The Finland no-goal?

Posted by: Worlds? | May 12, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree that it should be grandfathered in. If I'm not mistaken, didn't the AHL, in their most recent labor agreement with the players' union, mandate that ALL players will wear visors. And the junior players already wear visors or full-face shields. And many Europeans tend to wear visors. So as the younger players move up through the ranks to the bigs, they'll be accustomed to the visors and it wouldn't be a big adjustment issue.

And I agree with whoever wrote that as a GM I would put a visor clause in all contracts, unless that is a violation of the NHLPA agreement.

Posted by: tess | May 12, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Glavine was actually drafted by the Kings, but yeah. You know you're the man when you get drafted by two different professional sports leagues. Funny that he said his kids all prefer hockey over baseball, though they play both

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | May 12, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@ Visors

Yes, they should absolutely be mandated. It's a completely avoidable injury. So, is, however, the Zed-neck injury. Should we mandate neck guards, too? Neck guards actually hurt me, so i don't wear one, and haven't since peewees, and probably never will again. But that's a move that makes just as much sense.

i think it's a comfort issue. You've got to have a helmet that is comfortable just the same way you have to have skates and other equipment that's comfortable.

Look at Chelios for another example. He wears practically no chest guard. If he, say, took a puck to the chest in the wrong place, it could conceivably stop his heart. Not to mention shatter his rib cage and all that other fun stuff.

Regardless of the injury possibilities, I think that the equipment needs to remain up to the players, even though I, personally, would vote for mandatory visors.

@ World's

Been watching on wcsn (and am now Can 2 - Fin 1) and they've been a great diversion since the end of the season. Semin, anyone? He's carried over his playoffs and is having a spectacular World's. I've been impressed. He, Ovechkin, Green, and Backstrom have all had great tournaments so far. Huet, on the other hand... Well. Anyway.

Good tournament so far.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | May 12, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Don't they make anti-fog spray that you apply to visors? I swear I've seen people using it before.

Posted by: fullright | May 12, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

re Visors
A couple reasons why players might not wear them: If you instigate a fight and you have a visor, you get an extra penalty. So the NHL would have to change the rules to even make any of the "tough guys" consider wearing one. That no fog stuff doesn't work. I don't think it is about being tough though, it is just your comfort level. Guys know the risks, they decide what is best for them. They are big boys, I say let them decide.

@ drinking partner

I agree about neck guards. Didn't wear one after turning about 8 years old. Funny though, when growing up and going up to tournaments in Canada, we were required to either wear a neck guard or sign a waiver. They on the other hand had no rules about mouth guards, so when they would come here, they often times had to get mouth guards to avoid a 10 minute misconduct.

Posted by: reekie | May 12, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

One solution to the fighting w/ visors issue...make it required for helmets to be removed prior to fighting. Steckel (and his opponent) both removed their helmets prior to fighting towards the end of the season. I believe Laughlin made a comment about how they "showed respect" to one another by removing their headgear.

Posted by: Jeff | May 12, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Dunno, I guess there's lots of injuries that would be avoidable if hockey players wore full kevlar body armour. My feeling is that they're adults, they can decide for themselves. Coburn's injury would have been avoidable if he had decided to wear a visor. I'm not sure it's up to the NHL to force him to wear a visor. He knew the risks, he is suffering the consequences.

Posted by: katzistan | May 12, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Wearing a visor cost a guy I know his eye a few years ago.

Wearing a visor is not full proof, nor is it always a benefit, especially when they break upon impact from a shot or a punch.
That's when a visor causes greater damage than people realize.

Helmets being mandatory was essentially keeping up with the speed and condition of the "new era" player (bigger & faster) visor does not seem to be in the same category.

Posted by: Chief | May 12, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that in the interview with Ovechkin in On Frozen Blog today that there is no mention of Backstrom at all. I wonder if they have talked since the game? I also like Ovie's comments about becoming President.

Posted by: Capsfan91 | May 12, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

@ Chief, is that how the guy you know lost an eye, by it shattering?

I tend to agree that it is up to the players to decide. Make it mandatory for players up to a certain level or age (college, AHL, etc.). Then let them decide.

I never played hockey, but I play soccer and although shin guards protect you, I always hated to wear them (and would go without whenever I could).

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | May 12, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Katzistan -- I get your side on the discussion because ultimately, these are adults who need to feel comfortable to perform at their very best. And while Coburn may have avoided injury with a visor, he isn't the only one suffering the consequences of his decision. In fact, one could argue that while Coburn suffered the pain, the TEAM suffered the consequences.

I wouldn't be surprised if Coburn felt like he let his team down because he wasn't able to be out there last night.

I'm not saying that players should be wrapped in bubble wrap in an attempt to prevent all injuries. Injuries will always happen...but as technology improves there are certain injuries that don't need to happen any more.

Posted by: Jeff | May 12, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Visor or not. That is the question. Whether 'tis...

Personal preference to wear or not to wear. Personally, I've worn bird cages, full face clear visor, and half visor. I've also played without. I've played in-door and out-door in NJ, PA, NY, CT, MA.

Hated the bird cages because of the lack of vision. I didn't like the full mask because it fogged up pretty quickly, specially when huffing and puffing. The half visors weren't that much of a problem with fog.

Someone said that a lot of the top scorers wear half masks. If they don't have a problem, I don't see why the others would have an issue.

I suspect we'll see Coburn in a half shield when he comes back. Maybe a few players will wear them at least for awhile.

Frankly, I don't get the objections. They've been wearing a full or partial cage of some sort since they were Mites through college and AHL. Now, when they get to the NHL they suddenly can't see?

Posted by: Greg S. | May 12, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 12, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

CT,

No, guy behind my buddy went to lift his stick but missed, blade of the stick wedged between visor and eye.
If he wasn't wearing the visor the blade of stick would have never been stuck, would have skimmed right by.

Funny, I played (hockey) with a guy that vowed never to play soccer again after a someone slid into his shin (with shin protector) and broke his leg

Posted by: Chief | May 12, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

The AHL has mandated that all players wear visors for the past two seasons. As my team's oral surgeon I have seen a significant decrease in upper facial injuries since the shields have been used. And I don't hear players complaining about them as they all must use them. I agree with Tarik, an unfortunate yet needless injury...totally preventable.

Posted by: Jamie | May 12, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I can't say I blame the guys, they're playing under stress and if it's the most comfortable way for them to play minus a visor or someother piece of gear I say go for it, like someone said before they're adults and know the risks, it's like your kids, when they start walking you cant bubble wrap everything, you let them walk around and when they bump into something they learn not to do it again. I've never played hockey before, but I can agree that this is the case in every sport, and any physical activity, whether it's because of comfort or someone things they're getting the "competitive edge" by doing/not doing something.

Posted by: AP | May 12, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Chief, ouch! That sounds so aweful.

As for the guy who broke his leg playing soccer. Does not sound like a shin protector would have stopped that anyway. I always felt I was quicker without one. Of course now I probably jinxed myself.

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | May 12, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I read somewhere that it's already been agreed upon to grandfather it into the NHL, still seems to me that it will cause a whole host of other problems.

Posted by: Chief | May 12, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Too true (I like this Chief)

Posted by: AP | May 12, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Get rid of the instigator.
Anyone see Downie pop Blake ??
Without the instigator, many so called "tough guys" would be finished, the game would be far better off, not to mention with less injuries.

Posted by: Chief | May 12, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Another reason people are worried about visors is because they are afraid of sticks going out of control more often and blades getting stuck inside visors and doing a lot of facial damage.

Posted by: Chad | May 12, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Who is this Chief, making sane comments with facts sprikled throughout, and what have done to the real Chief whom we all loath and laugh at?

I'm playing the lottery tonight....

Posted by: Leeguru | May 12, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Hold off on the lotto...

AZAMAT needs to FIRE the MIDGET.
Better ?

Posted by: Chief | May 12, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAAHA Chief made a funny

Posted by: AP | May 12, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

PHEW!!! I was so worried about you! Thought the earth stopped spinning or something....

Posted by: Leeguru | May 12, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Tough to get on a roll unless the topic is fitting, I feel bad for Coburn.
Reminded me of the shot Roenick took in the face a couple years ago.

Posted by: Chief | May 12, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

We'll get you rolling again when the free agent period ends. Enjoy the playoffs.

Posted by: Leeguru | May 12, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

They say it's a vision thing, but haven't they noticed that ALL the best players wear them? Come on Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, Iginla, Datsyuk, Zetterberg and so many more are seeing just fine so why can't Coburn? Personally i blame the instigator rule for some of it and stupidity for the rest. As far as a rule goes i could care less, if you don't want to wear a visor that's fine it's your decision. It's stupid and selfish because you cost your team a player, but it's your choice.

Posted by: DC FURY | May 12, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Have worn a visor for a year in winter and summer- one much cheaper than the one NHLers use. It only fogs up on the bench, and the fog goes away immediately on hopping on the ice. Maybe you're just hot headed (and fog up more often) and don't see the logic that others have posted about all the top scorers not using them and only defenseman (who are in the line of fire and supposed to be tough guys) consistently not using them.

Posted by: @jordan | May 12, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Was wondering if anyone knew the condition of the ice at the phone booth. We really need to address this problem NOW for next year. What ever it takes to get Edmonton quality ice in D.C. would be money well spent.Turn down the thermostat? Additional pipes? We need one of them specialist to consult with...

Posted by: how is the ice | May 12, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Was wondering if anyone knew the condition of the ice at the phone booth. We really need to address this problem NOW for next year. What ever it takes to get Edmonton quality ice in D.C. would be money well spent.Turn down the thermostat? Additional pipes? We need one of them specialist to consult with...

Posted by: how is the ice | May 12, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Was wondering if anyone knew the condition of the ice at the phone booth. We really need to address this problem NOW for next year. What ever it takes to get Edmonton quality ice in D.C. would be money well spent.Turn down the thermostat? Additional pipes? We need one of them specialist to consult with...

Posted by: how is the ice | May 12, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Was wondering if anyone knew the condition of the ice at the phone booth. We really need to address this problem NOW for next year. What ever it takes to get Edmonton quality ice in D.C. would be money well spent.Turn down the thermostat? Additional pipes? We need one of them specialist to consult with...

Posted by: how is the ice | May 12, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

the condition of the ice is, uh, not there.

RE: visors, seems to be more of an eastern european thing ... what's up with that? i read that laing started wearing a visor after he almost lost an eye.

Kim: they are probably more comfortable without helmets ... and i think that ovie likes to feel his hair blowing in the wind! ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | May 12, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

from the previous ...

MDcapsfan/tokyo fan:
So, what about Foote? He's a S@H guy. But is he too old and/or expensive? Campbell and Redden are great (albeit expensive), but they're not S@H, are they?

Of the many R/UFA D men out there, which ones do you think will actually hit the open market?

Posted by: Boo! | May 12, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Redden will hit the market..Sens have cap space problem. It has been written about extensively in Ottawa press. Not going to be cheap, but at least he is young and not over the hill. Foote would be ok for 2 or 3 mill max, but not for more than 1 year or add a ton of incentives, like games played etc as he has been injured a good bit over the last couple of years.

Posted by: Rich C | May 12, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Why not go with the full face shield if it is so dangerous? Lets face it, the visor does not protect many facial injuries. Being a fan for 30 years, I cannot remember one time that a player got hit in the visor with the puck. I don't remember but a few times thinking that a visor really saved a guy from a stick or boards or goal post. Full face shields would prevent almost all facial injuries, 95% more than a visor will. There are many professions that could use visors and dont yet face little scrutiny. Hockey for some reason gets overly scrutinized by the media. Coburn is a man and can make his own decisions. If he doesn't care, neither should you.

Posted by: Randy | May 12, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

If any, we should get Soupy (Campbell). We're an O ffensive team, we need an O ffensive d man. Sure we've got Green, but Soupy is more experienced and plays a slightly more physical game. Redden's too expensive, altho Campbell won't be cheap either. Sometimes I want a thumper, like Foote (who will only go to Col) or Orpik (i like what i've seen), but I think we should get an offensive defenseman.

Posted by: fullright | May 12, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

think about Campbell (lefty), Green (righty) on the PP. Put OV where he belongs...in front of the net, side of the net, wherever he wants...throw in Sasha, hopefully FedOrov, Brooksie, Clarkie...Lethal.

Posted by: fullright | May 12, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Go back to the new you, Chief! I like it better!

I think that there are horror stories on the incidents like Chief's with the visor. I wonder if anyone's keep some kine of count of the number of injuries with vs sithout visor.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 12, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Ron Wilson was fired from SJS. Any bets on who takes his slot and where he ends up? I think it would be kind of humorous if Maurice and Wilson traded gigs.

I don't know why, but I liked Wilson.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 12, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Campbell has nice assist numbers and a good +/-.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 12, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Lepisto had a puck bounce off his visor and into the net in the Finland game... Does that count?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 12, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Joel Quennville got canned in Colorado as well. I'm sure there will be some recycling amoung the teams.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | May 13, 2008 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Joel Quennville got canned in Colorado as well. I'm sure there will be some recycling amoung the teams.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | May 13, 2008 3:32 AM | Report abuse

Re visors

I have mixed opinions on visors. I played with one for years, eschewing the full cage. When I finally blocked a slap shot with my face, I went to the cage. I don't like the cage. I would rather play with nothing. I've also had sticks hit my visor and get deflected in whereas if I had nothing, it would have just gone by. But, I'm a lawyer, not a hockey player, so I keep it in perspective when I play. But, when I'm out with my kid's team (he's a mite), I lose the visor (or the helmet...) and it feels great.

I'm all for manadatory cage and/or visor use at every level of sub-professional, including college, juniors and youth. But, as a professional athlete if they like the better vision or want to play to the code or whatever, then I say let them. Its their career. Wear mask, stay in the league and make money. Lose an eye, go back to farming wheat in Alberta. That's their call.

Posted by: old time hockey | May 13, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Tarik:
Thank you for continuing to update your blog in the post-season. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we miss the Caps (is it time for training camp yet?), but we enjoy being able to chew on this while we wait for 08/09 to begin (actually, that is when we REALLY start chewing on it)! :-)

Question - is it possible to have whoever controls the content on the Caps webpage to remove/replace the 'goal oriented' section about Ovie? That has got to be the worst picture of Ovie that I have EVER seen, and the content is from 2006!! There are so many other wonderful things (and pictures) that could go there. Is that something that you can help with? Regardless, thanks again for the great coverage ALL year-round!

Posted by: Boo! | May 13, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

@ Boo!

I expect Foote to be resigned in Colorade since that's the only place he wants to be right now it seems like. Redden will hit the open market for sure but I really don't see him coming to Washington. Campbell would be a great guy to have, but we'd have to free up space to sign him AFTER we sign our own UFA's and RFA's. Campbell is a deadly playmaking D-man and worked in together with Green on the PP. Deadly. Not to mention he can kill penalties too.

As for visors go, I play in an adult league at Laurel as well, and if it weren't for my half visor I could have been in deep trouble after being high sticked across the face. I keep my visor closer to my face as opposed to farther away to keep it from impairing vision. Personally I believe it is up to the player whether or not he is comfortable wearing a visor or not.

@ BernieWolfefan

When did Joel Quennville get canned? Didn't he just sign an extension a few days ago? I may be wrong but I heard something about an extension on NHL live the other day.

Posted by: SoMDcapsfan | May 13, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Quennville and the Avs came to a decision to part ways on Friday. No new extension.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=3388585

Posted by: Jeff | May 13, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Any thoughts on the Erat contract? 7 years for $31.5 (avg 4.5 mil per).

Erat is a decent player, having scored a career high 23 goals last season. But...that seems like a bit much, no?

Posted by: Jeff | May 13, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Since this Blog was about an injury I find this article ESPN did kind of fitting, bad publicity for some of our Caps though.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3382223

Posted by: AP | May 13, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

I caught the WP live segement where you were debating with ivan carter on wiz vs caps.

You looked like you were ready to drop the gloves ;)

Posted by: O-V-P | May 13, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The first game I ever played (adult rec league), the visor was bothering me, and I was thinking about taking it off. Then, standing in front of the net, I got checked down in the crease, and looked up just in time to see a slapshot from the point hit me square between the eyes. I never even thought about taking the visor off again after that.

Posted by: Baildog | May 13, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I get sticks to the visor all the time as people behind me attempt lift-checks while I'm carrying the puck. I guess I skate low or something, because it happens just about every game.

Posted by: Jordan | May 13, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if this has been brought up yet. Today's players have been wearing full visors or cages since they were little. Thus the vision thing is quite different than the old schoolers who grew up with nothing and then are forced to wear them because of liability with the new local league. They are used to seeing and playing with far more face coverage than they do in the NHL, thus the visor is actually far less than they used to get to the NHL.

Posted by: Bird Cages and Visors | May 13, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Tarik. (I gave a similar comment to Ivan on his Wizards blog). Good Wiz-Caps debate with Ivan on WPL. Two comments. In regard to Ivan's comment that everyone gets into the playoffs in the NHL. In the NHL, 16 out of 30 teams qualify; in the NBA, 16 out of 31 teams qualify. Negligible difference.

Also, when Ivan suggested that the Wiz have a brighter future than the Caps because they have three all-stars, some counterarguments would have included the following: (1) that's all-star game all-stars, not overall, end-of-the-season all-stars (i.e., big difference because there are twice as many all-stars in the all-star game and the lesser East has to be represented with twelve); (2) they haven't been all-stars at the same time - Jamison and Butler were both all-stars only in the season that Arenas mostly missed; and most importantly, (3) while in their primes these last three seasons, how much playoff success has it got them, and now Jamison is heading into the latter stage of his career and Arenas' play in coming seasons may well be diminished by his past knee injuries. Alternatively, the Caps' top players are still several years away from even being in their primes.

Posted by: Monty | May 13, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Japers Rink posted audio of GMGM and at one point he said of Huet "we expect to sign him". Its not like GMGM to speak that candidly. It kind of makes me nervous haha.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | May 13, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

No kidding Sombrero? Hopefully that happens sooner rather than later.

Posted by: Steve R | May 13, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Sombrero guy | May 13, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Bad day for Bob, Suzanne and CT Caps fan :)

Posted by: King Huet | May 13, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, so glad to hear you say on WAPo Live that you are/were a goaltender...major cool points! What # do you wear? (in case I wanna get a El-Bashir jesey)

Posted by: fullright | May 13, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@Cages and visors,

Yes, you are right that kids grow up with more protection than we did and that is a good thing. And maybe the NHL should allow full glass/cages for those want them. All of us who play in rec leagues should also wear as much protection as possible. Unless you work in some job where presentability is not an issue, I'm going to suggest that your bosses/clients/ co-workers won't look kindly on you coming in with 20 stiches across the face from an errant stick or puck.

But, I'll stick to my position that professionals should be able to do what they want. According to my quicky search, Coburn made about 475 last year and about 950 this year. That's good money, but its not like he's set forever with that kind of coin. So, if he wants to skip the protection and end up selling autographs for a living, knock yourself out. If I had that kind of skill I would play in bubble wrap if possible to preserve my playing career as long as possible.

Posted by: old time hockey | May 13, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Just an observation that has nothing to do with the visor debate....

All the people who made snide remarks all season about BB's wardrobe should take a look at Pen's coach Therien tonight. Plaid shirt with a striped tie?? Guess they don't have any decent menswear stores in Pittsburgh.

Posted by: tess | May 13, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I love to see Briere losing. Both teams are playing well so it could go either way, but I sure hope the Pens sweep the Flyers. Flippin' Flyers. BTW, did anyone see Coburn's Frankenstein mug? Did I hear that right - 50 stitches?!? Holy moly! Any bets on whether or not he will wear a visor next season?

Posted by: Boo! | May 13, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Boo! | May 13, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

fantasy update?

Posted by: fullright | May 13, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Boo!

Probably his lucky jersey. Didn't want to lose it and all it's luck. Maybe didn't even wash it given the number of black puck marks on it.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 14, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't think that a half visor would have helped. It looked like it came up and under where the visor would have been.

Posted by: Whitermage | May 14, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Greg:
Well, given the price tag, it's not MY lucky jersey!! ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | May 14, 2008 7:01 AM | Report abuse

They discuss Semin trade idea on the Caps boards... If you Caps trade him, do it please to NY. He will have much fun there. His pictures "in red" made from some party - rock! His clothes! OMG! He is dressed like male prostitute! I want him to date some celebrity then I guess it will be even more fun!
Sasha, we love you baby, even with your ugly clothes and we are happy to have you in our national team on the worlds!

Posted by: Lena | May 14, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

@fullright

I wore 30,33 and 1. 33 was my favorite, though.

Posted by: Tarik | May 14, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

The debate goes both ways. Sheilds give more protection, but there are issues with distorted vision, and from personal experience, they tend to fog up.

Of course the no shield means less protection and a higher risk for injury.

Its all up to personal preference and considering in the not too distant past there were players skating without any helmets and not getting seriously injured, I don't see any need to change.

Posted by: Jim Cee | May 15, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

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