By John Vogl
From now on, every player who achieves his dream of reaching the NHL will see the ice through a visor.
The competition committee, made up of five NHL representatives and five members of the NHL Players' Association, voted today to make visors mandatory starting next season. Players with at least 26 games of service will be grandfathered in and not required to use a visor.
Forwards Steve Ott and John Scott, and defensemen Mike Weber and Adam Pardy are the only members of the Sabres who don't wear a protective shield.
The recommendation will need approval of the board of governors in June.
The competition committee has also suggested: the trial use of hybrid icing during the preseason; the use of shallower nets; and to subject four-minute high-sticking penalties to video review.
Shallower nets would open 4 inches of ice behind the cage.
Hybrid icing -- which essentially features players racing for the puck to the faceoff dots rather than the goal line -- could eliminate injuries caused by players crashing into the boards on icing plays.
The NHL and NHLPA also will form a committee to study goaltending equipment.