Monday, May 9, 2011

NHL should require visors after Manny Malholtra's eye injury

At least one optometrist is telling National Hockey League players to wear visors.  She happens to be engaged to one of them. Andrew Ladd's fiancee has tried unsuccessfully to convince Ladd to wear a visor while playing for the Atlanta Thrashers, reports the Candian Press.  Visors are already required in international hockey rules.

Ladd is rethinking his stance on a visor after the horriffic injury to Canuck, Manny Malholtra, "Just seeing what happened to Manny Malhotra and those types of injuries, it's scary," Ladd told the Canadian Press. "It can end pretty quickly if you take one in the eye."  This is what happened to Malholtra:

An injury like this can lead to permanent blindness.  Under NHL rules, no player with one blind eye can play.  However, I don't think a rule is even necessary.  A player with one blind eye will probably not have the peripheral vision and necessary depth perception required to succeed at the NHL level.

The Canucks have not disclosed exactly what kind of eye injury Malhotra suffered, but there are a few possibilities.  Dr. Harbir Sian has a list of the possible injuries here, which include detached retina, corneal abrasion, cataract, glaucoma and fractured orbital bone.  In my opinion, the most likely injury is the dreaded retinal detachment.