Eric and Jordan Staal will start wearing visors

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

Just a couple of weeks after New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal was hit in the eye by a shot, two of his brothers, Carolina Hurricanes forwards Eric and Jordan Staal, have decided that they will start wearing visors.

They wore them for the first time in practice on Friday and hope to begin wearing them in games as early as next week.

Marc, the youngest of the Staal brothers in the NHL, has yet to return to the Rangers lineup and was not wearing a visor when he was hit by a Kimmo Timonen slap shot in a game against the Flyers.

He has already said that he will be wearing a visor once he returns. And Jordan and Eric will be joining him in adding that piece of equipment to their uniforms.

"I just feel like the risk isn't worth it right now," said Eric Staal on Friday. "Just because the injures I've seen to other people. A lot of people in this organization, to family. Sometimes you feel like you're invincible, but as many guys have seen, you're not. Unfortunate injuries can happen. It's just being smarter. I'm sure I'll be fine once I get it going and have it on."

Visors have once again been a hot topic of debate, especially in the wake of Staal's injury, and the possibility of making them mandatory was discussed during the general managers meetings in Toronto. The NHLPA said this past week that it will look at grandfathering in mandatory visors for all new players that come into the NHL.

"I think that grandfathered idea is a good idea," Jordan said on Friday. "It's a smart thing to wear, and there's no question it's a good thing I'm trying it."

It's at least nice to see players taking it upon themselves to try wearing them. More than 70 percent of the players in the NHL are already wearing visors, and given that they're mandatory in the lower levels and players are already used to wearing them when they enter the NHL, it's starting to become a rarity to see a young player enter the league that doesn't wear one.

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