A turbulent year of controversy and major change in the NHL produced plenty of ongoing drama and surprises. Here are our top 13 sagas of 2013.
13. The visor issue
When Manny Malhotra of the Canucks was struck in the eye by a shot in 2011, his agony and jeopardized career should have been enough to make all NHL players realize that they needed to wear visors for the sake of their safety. Instead, it took two more years and the horrifying eye injury suffered in March by Rangers defenseman Marc Staal, with super slow-mo recording the puck’s full impact, to finally bring change to the league. And so, in June, the NHLPA voted to make visors mandatory for all new players coming into the league, effective at the start of the 2013-14 season. Those who had played 25 or more games in the league could choose to take the ice without such protection. But as the players who are grandfathered into this rule exception leave the league in the coming years, eyewear will no longer be optional. So it was for helmets when Brad Marsh and Craig MacTavish stayed in the league bareheaded until the bitter end.