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Owen Nolan has a close call
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Owen Nolan had a close call over the weekend, taking a high stick in the eye area. Nolan was clipped near the eye by a high stick from Jay McKee during Saturday night's 3-3 tie with the Buffalo Sabres and left the ice for the hospital. He got 15 stitches above the eye and recently had a laser eye procedure to mend the tear in his retina. The Maple Leafs have had previous experience with serious eye injuries. In 2000 defeseman Bryan Berard had a serious eye injury in a game against the Ottawa Senators. Berard retired for a while and returned to the NHL last year, sporting a speical contact lense and with only partial vision in the one eye.
As one can imagine, the issue about visors is again making the headlines. Owen Nolan wasn't wearing one and it seems that people are calling for visors to be made mandatory. It makes sense to give the players as much protection as possible, but it seems to me that the powers to be are not tackling the problem at its source. The real responsibility lies with the players themselves - they need to stop the stick work that goes on during just about every play. The NHL can surely help out by calling the stick related offences by the rule-book.
The Leafs had yet another scare this week when Darcy Tucker was high-sticked near the eye by Jason Blake of the Islanders. Tucker had surgery this week and will probably miss a few more games. The Coyotes Ladislav Nagy (who does wear a visor) also missed two games after suffering an eye injury when he was high-sticked in a game against the Vancouver Canucks.