Source: USA TODAY
NASHVILLE – Should Predators defenseman Shea Weber wear a visor when he comes back from his eye injury? The answer is an unequivocal yes, especially after Weber took a puck to the face Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers.
The tagline on Weber’s injury is that it could have been a lot worse, though Nashville has listed him as day-to-day.
According to Weber’s agent, Jarrett Bousquet of Titan Sports, his client will strongly consider trying out a visor when he comes back from the injury.
“We’ve spoken that he would think about it, for sure,” Bousquet said.
Weber has always been lukewarm to the idea of wearing a visor. He has done so in international competition, but never in the NHL with any level of consistency. Considering Weber’s stature as the captain of the Predators — and the fact that he is in the midst of a 14-year, $110 million contract — there’s little doubt the team would want him to wear one. But for Weber, it’s his choice.
The NHL and NHL Players’ Association started grandfathering in visors for younger players this season, and Weber still has the decision of whether to wear one.
When asked whether the visor would have prevented the injury, coach Barry Trotz said, “I’m sure it would have, that’s what visors do, they protect guys, so I would probably say yes.”
Visors are a touchy subject for older players. While to the outside observer, it makes little sense to not wear one, a lot of players who don’t wear them simply don’t like the way they feel. In some ways, it is kind of understandable. Would you want to be forced to use something that you believe would hamper how you do your job?
“I just don’t like the things,” said forward Eric Nystrom, who does not use a visor. “I don’t like them. I think it’s a reason why the game has become more reckless, it’s because guys have too much equipment on and they run around like they’re invincible. It is scary for sure. You only have one set of eyes.”
But for some, the prospect of suffering an eye injury is difficult. Forward Paul Gaustad said he went without a visor for his first seven or eight seasons before switching.
“I didn’t have one for a majority of the time. Then I went to the world championship and I had to wear one, so I decided to keep it on,” Gaustad said. “My first NHL game (with a visor) I took a slap shot to the visor and It affirmed a reason to have it. To me the risk and reward thing isn’t there.”
Even Weber’s former defense partner Ryan Suter started wearing a visor this year.
Said Suter to the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Just not worth it anymore. Everyone else can wear it, why can’t I?”
Josh Cooper writes for The (Nashville) Tennessean