Hats off to Ray Whitney who plays with the Phoenix Coyotes! Last night, the Coyotes paid tribute to him for scoring his 1000th point in the NHL.
The question I am asked the most as the eye doctor of a NHL team is: why don’t you get all those guys to wear visors?
That question is usually followed by a statement that goes something like: it’s silly that they don’t or don’t they know they can lose an eye?
Ray Whitney gave us some good insights into which of the athletes choose to wear them and those that don’t. He stated this in an interview by Luke DeCock of the News and Observer in April 2006. Basically, he revealed that all the guys smaller in stature (i.e., with eyes closer to the ice) wear the visors because of necessity. Their eyes are the ones that are closer to the puck and more likely to get whacked by another players stick.
He told me, “Doc, look, it’s only the big guys that don’t wear them.”
I used to target my message at preseason of “Save an eye, wear a shield” to all the players but I’ve learned now to mainly target the taller guys. In the end, without a mandate, it is impossible to get them all to wear one.
Another note, Joe Vasicek was the tallest player I worked with who chose to play with a visor. He told me he did that because one of his relatives was an eye doctor and he made a promise to always wear one when playing.
Joe was my wife’s favorite player. He gave her a signed stick for her 40th birthday. We miss #63.
Now, all you tall hockey players, wear your visors!
Welcome to my blog! I hope this helps you learn a little more about me and also keeps you up to date on my fun world of sports vision.