Eric, Jordan Staal to wear visors

calexander@newsobserver.comMarch 22, 2013 

— Eric and Jordan Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes have made a mutual decision: they’ll both wear protective helmet visors for the first time in their NHL careers.

The Staal brothers had the visors on Friday for the Canes’ practice at Raleigh Center Ice. The decision to use the shields came after brother Marc Staal of the New York Rangers was hit by a puck in the right eye March 5 in New York.

Marc Staal, a defenseman who has not worn a visor, is sidelined indefinitely but should return this season. He, too, plans to use a visor when he returns.

“It’s a decision that’s been brewing for a little while,” Eric Staal said. “At this point I just feel like the risk (of injury) isn’t worth it right now because of the injuries I’ve seen to other people in this organization, family.

“Sometimes you feel like you’re invincible, but as many guys have seen, you’re not. Unfortunately injuries can happen. It’s just being smarter. As we’ve seen in the past when anybody has had an eye injury, they put (a visor) on. So why am I going to wait until that happens to me? Why not put one on now?”

The three Staal brother were able to visit during the Canes’ trip to New York early this week for a game against the Rangers. But Eric said the talk didn’t end with the three agreeing to wear visors. It came more after Eric and Jordan talked.

“I wasn’t like we talked long. We kind of looked at each other like ‘We’ve got to start wearing one,’” Jordan Staal said. “It was just one of those moments like, ‘That’s it.’

“It’s time, and hopefully we’ll give it a good, hard shot to keep it on.”

Eric and Jordan Staal wore visors when playing for Canada in the 2007 World Championship, and Eric Staal was required to wear a visor when competing for Team Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics. The youngest Staal brother, forward Jared Staal of the Charlotte Checkers, wears one as mandated by the AHL.

“I had no problem at all,” Eric Staal said of using a visor in the Olympics. “It’s something I can wear. It’s just a matter of doing it, and I’m at that point.”

The Canes’ next game is Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets. Both Staals should have the new look going.

Alexander: 919-829-8945

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