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NHL, players agree on visors

The SportsXchange

Visors will become mandatory equipment for players entering the NHL next season.

The National Hockey League and NHL Players' Association reached an agreement on Tuesday at the competition committee meetings in New York to add the extra protection to the helmets of any player who has played in 26 or fewer NHL regular-season games.

Current NHL players will have the option to choose to wear a visor, similar to when the league implemented mandatory helmet use in 1980.

NHLPA special assistant Mathieu Schneider said a majority of union members supported the visor after being against the idea in March.

Sentiment might have started to change after New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal was hit in the eye with a puck and missed the rest of the regular season and all but one playoff game. He acknowledged that he should have worn a visor at the time. Staal and his brothers, Eric and Jordan, started wearing the shield after the incident.

The NHL and the NHLPA also announced that they will begin studying potential changes to equipment for skaters and goaltenders. In addition, the NHL said it plans to test shallower nets and hybrid icing during the preseason and that all high-sticking double-minor penalties would be subject to review next season.

The changes will be subject to approval by the NHL Board of Governors at its meeting in late June.

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