Todd Bertuzzi is coming up on 1,100 NHL games played and hasn't found a need to wear a visor. During their 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night, the Detroit Red Wings forward got a scare after the stick of Jamie Benn caught his eye during the follow-through of a dump-in:
Benn was given a double minor for high-sticking. Bertuzzi said afterward that the stick went into his eye directly, but fortunately did not cause enough damage to keep him out of the game long. He would return for the start of the third period with a cut near his left eye.
But despite the close call, the soon-to-be 38-year old Bertuzzi doesn't sound like a visor is in his future.
“I think I'm pretty fortunate,'' he said. “I still don't know what the extent of it is. I'll get it checked tomorrow to make sure everything's OK inside, but pretty lucky.''
Bertuzzi doubts the close call will convince him to put on a visor.
“I never really worn one,'' he said. “I know it's probably stupid. People will call me stupid for not wearing it. I played many years, and it's a tough adjustment to do. I know it's a stupid comment to say.''
You'll recall Chris Pronger suffered a serious eye injury last season and decided to start using a visor. The use of visors has increased over the years, but for all of the debate and for all of the encouragement players receive on the use of visors by the NHLPA, it still, for now, boils down to player preference. Like with playing the game of hockey, which can be dangerous, you're assuming all of the risks involved.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy