When you watch an NHL hockey game, you’ll notice that virtually every player wears a half-visor on their helmet. Carry out the players need to wear a visor? have actually players always worn visors? Why do only a few NHL players not wear visors? What are the NHL’s rules on visors? This post will check out the use of visors and their background in the NHL and also hockey.

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NHL players are required to stay visors. Yet a preeminence only make visors obligated in 2013. Every players who entered the organization thereafter play your NHL careers v a visor. Football player who had played much more than 25 gamings at the time weren’t forced to stay a visor, therefore there space still some players in the organization who this particular day go without one.

Are Visors obligated in the NHL?


When city hall an NHL video game today, it’s rare to look at a player and also find him without a visor.

But the NHL’s present state with nearly all football player wearing a visor is a relatively recent development. In fact, the wasn’t even all the long back that players didn’t wear helmets, allow alone visors.

For starters, helmets were only worn sparingly transparent the very first half of the 20th century. The NHL at some point made them mandatory in 1979.

Players that had enough experience in the organization at the moment were permitted to continue on helmetless, however. As a result, Craig MacTavish played the critical helmetless NHL video game in 1997.

Like helmets, visors also have a background that entails a slow adopt of their worth as additional protection.

Who Wore the first Visor?

The hockey visor was first invented by Kenneth william Clay in the 1960s ~ he take it a high-stick to the eye. The brother Columbian organization player created the visor for security after he lost vision in one eye from the incident.

Greg Neeld would later be the an initial professional hockey player come wear a visor after ~ he also suffered an eye injury in the 1970s. He never made it come the NHL, though.

Some of the first NHL visors were worn in the 1980s and more commonly in the 1990s.

The agree of visors early wasn’t always positive, though.

Commentators together as former Boston Bruins coach and also CBC organize Don Cherry criticized players that wore visors for being “wimpy.” specifics he dubbed out “Europeans and French guys” because that wearing visors in 2003.

Part that the thought procedure here is that if a player it s okay in a fight, they hide behind the visor to protect against punches to the face. However this mindset faded as safety was prioritized in the 21st century over outdated hockey traditions.

Over the years, the NHL additionally had lot of frightening events involving eye injuries. More than a few players lost partial vision in one eye on innocent plays – Bryan Berard, chris Pronger, Manny Malhotra, and also Marc Staal are contained on this list.

Apart native a couple of outspoken critics, players were largely urged to undertake visors in the 2000s.

By 2010, nearly 60% of the league’s football player voluntarily wore a visor. 3 years later, the NHL make visors causing obligation for brand-new players entering the league.

What Is the NHL’s preeminence on Visors?

The brand-new rule was enforced ahead that the 2013-14 NHL season. Visors are currently a mandatory ingredient of NHL hockey.

All football player who had actually fewer than 26 gamings of NHL endure were thereafter compelled to stay a visor. Football player with an ext than 25 career games could proceed to play without a visor if they wanted to.

Every brand-new player who gotten in the organization would also have to wear a visor.

At the time, the majority of the league’s players already wore a visor to begin with. Ever since, the numbers who decided to remain without one have dwindled.

Today, maybe just a dozen or therefore players continue to be without a visor. Each year because 2013, players there is no visors have retired or determined to begin wearing one because that their security benefits.

Some of this veterans that still go without a visor incorporate recognizable stars such together Zdeno Chara, Joe Thornton, Ryan Getzlaf, and also Ryan O’Reilly. The youngest football player in this team are in their late 20s and early 30s, so that remains feasible that one NHL player could go there is no a visor for another decade.

The NHL likewise penalizes players that wear your visor titled up also high top top the helmet. Doing so reduces the performance of the visor, basically leaving the challenge unprotected.

Players such as Leo Komarov and also Sean Monahan are occasionally targeted as instances who press the borders on the acceptable use of a visor.

The increase of visors did likewise lead to players removing their helmets prior to fights. As soon as players hit while put on visors, that painful due to the fact that the punches can end up landing ~ above the heavy visor and also its edges.

But the league more cracked down on security by staying clear of players indigenous removing helmets before fights. Players are now dealt secondary penalty if they remove their helmet before a fight.

The implementation that this helmet-removal rule has virtually lugged an end to the occurrence that it penalizes.

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Visors are currently mandatory for all NHL players and all those that will join the organization in the future. The only exception is for players who had over 25 games of NHL suffer going right into the 2013-14 season. A small variety of these football player still walk without a visor together of 2020, and also it’s feasible that several of these players can remain in the league for one more decade or so. After that time, every NHL players will wear visors.