Mark Madden: NHL gamers must put on full face shields

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Penguins defenseman John Marino wore a full face protect to play hockey for his three seasons at Harvard College.

This season, he turned professional and went instantly to the NHL, hockey’s most harmful degree. Marino took the total face protect off, changing it with a visor.

That brings us to Thursday’s Penguins sport at Tampa. Marino took a puck to the face courtesy of a Steven Stamkos slap shot. Bones have been damaged. Surgical procedure was carried out Monday. Marino is out indefinitely. The Penguins maintain yet one more massive harm blow.

If Marino is carrying a full face protect, he’s shaken up. No massive deal.

NHL gamers must be required to put on full face shields, like they’re in school.

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AP

Harvard College defenseman John Marino (12) seems to be to push the puck away from Boston College ahead Ty Amonte (3) throughout a NCAA hockey sport, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Boston.

 

Hockey is harmful. It’s full contact. Members’ heads are uncovered to sticks, pucks, fists, skate blades, elbow pads as arduous as metal, unforgiving boards, and so forth. But full face shields usually are not obligatory. They’re, in truth, unlawful on the NHL degree until medically mandated.

We consistently pay lip service to the hazards of head trauma in sports activities. However the leagues don’t care. Nor do the gamers. It’s their heads. However the stupidity is appalling.

Visors weren’t even obligatory within the NHL till the 2013-14 season. These enjoying with out have been grandfathered in, and 19 NHL gamers nonetheless don’t put on visors.

Arguments in opposition to the total face protect ring absurdly false.

The impact on imaginative and prescient is annoying, however hardly crippling.

If it creates a tradition of excessive hits, there are already loads of these to go round.

Is character diluted? That doesn’t appear an issue within the NFL.

Gamers say they wish to really feel the wind of their face. But it surely’s not a scene from “Titanic.”

Full face shields would put an enormous kibosh on combating. Hockey traditionalists would hate that. However pugilism within the NHL is at an all-time low, dropping 70 % since 2008.

There is no such thing as a good argument in opposition to full face shields.

However the NHL is unlikely to ever mandate them. The NHL strikes slowly even when catastrophe crops up.

Invoice Masterton died of huge head accidents in 1968 when he hit his head on the ice. The NHL didn’t require helmets till 1979. Bryan Berard took a stick with his proper eye in 2000, going legally blind in that eye. The NHL didn’t require visors till 2013.

Of present fear to the Penguins is Marino’s absence. It’s assumed he might be out till proper earlier than the playoffs. The Penguins, like all NHL groups, shield harm info like nuclear secrets and techniques, albeit to no discernible finish.

The Penguins’ defensive corps is among the many NHL’s greatest when its prime six members are wholesome. But when one or two are lacking, it will get meh in a rush.

Chad Ruhwedel has carried out past expectations in his 31 video games. He’s stable. However do the Penguins need him within the lineup for his or her first playoff sport?

Jake Guentzel is definite to be out longer than Marino, so the Penguins’ commerce priorities doubtless nonetheless revolve round buying a winger.

However the New York Rangers reportedly desire a first-round choose plus an NHL common for winger Chris Kreider. That NHL common will not be Nick Bjugstad or Alex Galchenyuk.

That’s quite a bit to present for Kreider, even when GM Jim Rutherford subbed a prospect for the NHL common. Kreider isn’t Marian Hossa. He ensures little. Kreider has high quality, however appears unlikely to push the Penguins excessive. He’s one of the best of the rental wingers.

However a legit common defenseman — New Jersey’s Sami Vatanen involves thoughts — would price as a lot as or greater than a top-six winger.

Rutherford may do higher to pay a lesser value for a lesser winger who appears match for Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin and hope that Marino returns sooner, not later.

“Win now” is the Penguins’ philosophy.

But when Rutherford pays an enormous value to “win now” and the Penguins don’t, it’s only a dangerous commerce. There may not be a participant accessible who could make that massive of a distinction.



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