By Allan Muir
Funny how people’s opinions can change about something when it suddenly affects someone they love.
Take Senator Rob Portman, for instance. Or a little closer to home, Eric and Jordan Staal.
It took nearly a month after watching their visorless brother Marc almost lose an eye when he took the full force of a slap shot in the face, but the two Carolina-based Staals finally decided it was time to protect their own futures.
Eric and Jordan hit the practice ice in Raleigh with a new look Friday morning, according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer.
Here’s Eric Staal, explaining the decision:
“It’s been brewing for a little while. At this point I just feel like the risk [of injury] isn’t worth it right now, because of the injuries I’ve seen to other people in this organization, family.
“Sometimes you feel like you’re invincible, but as many guys have seen, you’re not. Unfortunately, injuries can happen. It’s just being smarter. As we’ve seen in the past when anybody has had an eye injury, they put [a visor] on. So why am I going to wait until that happens to me? Why not put one on now?”
“I wasn’t like we talked long. We kind of looked at each other like, ‘We’re got to start wearing one,’” Jordan Staal said. “It was just one of those moments like, ‘That’s it.’”
You watch the replay of the Marc Staal incident and it’s miraculous he didn’t lose an eye.
But with his brothers gearing up and the NHLPA putting the issue of mandatory visors back in from of its membership, it looks like we’re finally seeing a change in outdated thinking as a result of what now looks like a watershed moment in NHL history.