While George Parros is out of the Anaheim Ducks line up for the next four weeks recovering from a retinal tear, he better start thinking “visor.” His latest eye injuries can be added to the growing list of reasons why they should be mandatory.
In hockey, pucks happen. As do sticks. And other flukes of nature.
Do visors protect in all cases? No. But do they protect more than not wearing a visor at all? Absolutely.
Parros got his warning from God on October 27, when he was struck in the face with an errant puck at practice. His right eye took the hit (thank you Andrew Gordon.) A few stitches here and there, and things seemed good to go.
Then last Friday, eight days after the first incident, another errant puck at practice hit Parros. This time it hit the left eye. Or as Parros tweeted, his left eye was jealous of all the attention that his right eye was getting.
No need for the eye to jealous any more. That left eye is getting more attention than it wanted thanks to having a retinal tear.
The tear was repaired on Monday morning by laser surgery and Parros will be gone for the next four weeks for recovery.
This is not the first time that an eye injury has sidelined Parros. In November 2008 he was struck in the eye with an errant stick during a game against the Vancouver Canucks. Parros wore a visor while the eye was healing, a first for the enforcer since his junior days.
The likelihood is good that he will be told he’ll need to wear a visor again.
If so, he will be in good company. Former Duck, Chris Pronger, caught a stick in his eye in October, taking him out of the Philadelphia Flyers line up. He is expected to return to the line up wearing a visor for the first time in his career. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf took a puck to his forehead, breaking bones in his face in January and he was out of commission for six weeks. He wore a visor when he returned to the line up and the visor has not come off since.
Although Parros is not critical to the Ducks success on ice, players like Getzlaf and Pronger are important members of their team. What they all have in common was preventable injuries.
Just ask Francois Beauchemin how grateful he was for a visor when he was hit in the face with a puck during a recent game. He had a compression cut to his eyebrow, but he was back on the ice after he was stitched up. Inconvenient, but nothing to lose an eye over.
Jordan Smith was not so fortunate. The one time Ducks prospect was struck by a puck in the eye while playing in the AHL on February 24, 2006. The damage was so complete, there was nothing doctors could do to save the eye. Visors were made mandatory at the AHL level beginning that fall of 2006.
Eyesight is precious and life is too short to spend it being stupidly visorless.
It is not a difficult thing to remove your helmet when fighting an opponent on the ice. It does not make you less manly. Not wearing a visor does make you look pretty dumb, though, especially in this day and age.
It is a risk that should not be taken. This latest preventable injury certainly proves that.
That being said, get well soon, George! I guess he focus all his energy on growing his Movember mustache.