Seen & Heard – Wednesday, March 6, 2013

by Rob G

Visorgate! This is certainly not the first time for this debate, and it won’t be the last. More on that later.

Before diving into that, on Wednesday morning, within one hour, we had two separate players in the unenviable position of carrying the weight of their team on their backs! Both instances were on TSN Radio’s Mike Richard’s show in the 7-8am hour. The first victim was Nazim Kadri, with the weight of Leaf’s nation on his back, carrying the team to an overachieving position. Later in the hour, Shawn Lavigne said Mike Ribeiro was carrying the weight of the Washington Capitals on his shoulders, playing fantastic. On behalf of many, can we please park this ridiculous hyperbole? The notion that a player has strapped the team to his back is an insult to the rest of the players on the team.

Now to visorgate. This subject was certainly the flavour of the day. Hardly a surprise, as it has been the flavour of the day before. One theme that started Wednesday morning with Pierre Maguire on TSN Radio was regarding whether the player’s insurance would continue to underwrite the policy if they continue to not wear visors. This opinion continued to be voiced during the day right through Bob McKenzie on TSN Radio late this afternoon. It will be interesting to see if the insurance company that underwrites NHL players contracts will give consideration to this issue.

Frankly, this comes down to the players, and I just don’t get them. Be it visors, or kevlar that can protect them from cuts, I have little sympathy if they’re not interested in protecting themselves, and there’s no evidence of that. Unless you’re willing to invest in protecting yourselves, you’ll forgive me if I don’t partake in sympathy for your situation.

What’s funny to me is I don’t see much evidence that the NHL has much interest in the player’s protecting themselves. I’m sure they’d “poo-poo” my opinion, based on their asking the NHLPA during the lockout if they have an appetite for making visors mandatory. In my opinion, it’s nothing but “CYA” on their part. Remember, this is a league that allows you to watch fights on their website. The sooner the NHLPA clues in to the fact that the NHL’s interest in their well-being is at best debateable, the sooner they might consider looking out for themselves. Sorry to tell you fellas, but you were correct with your cattle rhetoric during the lockout – you’re nothing but a piece of meat. Be it contractual or physical issues, nobody will look out for you except yourselves. The sooner you clue into that, the better off you will be.

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