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Competition committee votes to make visors mandatory in NHL

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.

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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