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January 29, 2010

Friday Slap Shots

Time to put the puck on the 'Net:
  • Who is the most underrated player in the NHL nowadays? Joe Pavelski? David Clarkson? Eric Belanger? Niklas Hjalmarsson?
  • Here's some interesting numbers regarding visor use in the NHL: 59% of NHL skaters now wear visors, compared to just 15% of players in the 1998-99 season. That trend will continue to grow upwards as new generations of players arrive in the league. 65% of players under 30 wear visors, compared to 45% of players over 30. 61% of forwards and 54% of defenseman wear visors. Europeans still are far more likely to wear eye protection, coming in at 81% compared to 52% of North Americans.
  • One reason for the increased usage has nothing to do with the NHL, but rather mandatory visor use in juniors, college and European leagues. It just goes to show that lower levels of hockey can influence the almighty NHL who continue to ignore their responsibility to care for the game at all levels. Head shots is the next great example. The archaic dinosaurs who run the NHL won't do anything about hits to the head, so junior leagues and international hockey have taken the lead. The NHL will be forced to follow through when really they should have been leading the way.
  • What would AIK Stockholm want with Georges Laraque? An even better question - why are the Canadiens blocking the move?
  • In honor of the great J. D. Salinger, today's Greatest Hockey Legends of the day are Josh Holden and Jay Caulfield.

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