Competition Committee Recommends Mandatory Visors

The National Hockey League’s Competition Committee met yesterday in Toronto and recommended three significant changes in the game, with two focused on player safety.

The Committee has recommended mandatory visors for all players coming into the League during the 2013-14 season. Under the proposal, players who are currently in the NHL will be grandfathered in and not be required to wear a half-shield.

According to NHL.com, 73 percent of NHL players wore visors this season.

During preseason, the NHL will experiment with hybrid icing before deciding to use it in the 2013-14 regular season or stick with the current form of icing.

Shallower nets could also come into play next season. The Committee recommend nets that sit 4 inches shallower, down from 44 inches to 40 inches, to allow more room behind the net.

Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations for the NHL Colin Campbell spoke about the suggestions, as did the Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the NHLPA Mathieu Schneider.

All proposals must be approved by the League’s Board of Governors before changes become permanent.

The Competition Committee — which featured five players from the NHLPA, five NHL executives, an NHL referee, and members of the League’s hockey operations department — also announced other potential changes and recommendations for next season, including:

  • All double minor high-sticking penalties will be subject to review.
  • Elimination of the attainable pass, which gave linesmen the discretion to wave off icing infractions on attempted passes that are deemed to be attainable. With the new standard, there must be contact with the stick.
  • A sub-committee will be formed as early as next week to study all equipment worn by goaltenders and skaters. Schneider said all equipment will be examined.

The Board of Governors will meet later this month to discuss and vote on the proposals made by the Competition Committee.

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