Pens' Orpik considering wearing protective visor
PHILADELPHIA — Many of the Penguins play without wearing a protective visor.
One of their biggest names is thinking about making a change.
Defenseman Brooks Orpik, who wore a visor only when it was required during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, has reconsidered since seeing Rangers defenseman Marc Staal sustain a possibly serious eye injury Tuesday night.
“I guess there really isn't a valid excuse to not wear one anymore,” Orpik said.
Many players prefer playing without a visor because they say it obscures their vision.
“Some of the guys say that can't see as well,” Orpik said. “Well, I look around and see Sid (Sidney Crosby), Geno (Evgeni Malkin) and (Tampa Bay star Steven) Stamkos wearing visors out there. They're the best players in the game, and they have plenty of vision even though they use visors. There's probably no excuse anymore.”
Staal's injury has reverberated through hockey. The defenseman was hit in the right eye by a slap shot during a game Tuesday against the Flyers. Staal will make a full recovery, according to the Rangers, but is out indefinitely.
Orpik nearly endured a similar injury last season.
“(Boston defenseman Zdeno) Chara sent a one-timer right by my face,” Orpik said. “You literally have no time to react.”
Since Staal's injury, Orpik sounds like a changed man.
“I think (a visor is) probably in my near future,” he said. “During the lockout, my college coach was all over me about it. You look around, coaches are all preaching so much stick on puck right now. That means more shots are deflected toward your face, and ice is so bad right now, a lot of those shots are on edge. It is more dangerous. You see it a lot.”
Other Penguins are not adopting Orpik's stance.
Forwards Craig Adams, Tanner Glass and defenseman Mark Eaton choose to play without visors. Staal's injury won't change that.
Eaton's 8-year-old daughter pleaded with him to wear a visor after seeing the Staal injury.
“She said, ‘Daddy, you need to put a visor on,' ” Eaton said. “That's the only thing that might sway me. But even that — it just is such a nuisance with the fog and water.”
Adams, the team's player union representative, is hopeful that wearing a visor never becomes mandatory.
“I think it should be up to the player to decide,” Adams said.
Glass isn't interested in a visor.
“Not one bit,” he said. “I got my eyeball hurt last year. We know the risks. It's something I deal with. I feel like I'm more in the game, not sitting behind the glass like a spectator.”
Orpik, it seems, is OK with that.
“It's something that would take getting used to,” he said. “But visors are a lot better now than they used to be. There's just no excuse.”
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New Penguins coach to meet with Malkin
- Pens hope to reach long-term deal with Brandon Sutter
- Q&A: New coach Johnston feeling at home with Penguins
- Hollidaysburg native Lafferty relishing his chance with Penguins