Full face shields under consideration for NHL Return to Play Committee

One of the items that will need to be discussed and agreed to by both the NHL and the Players Association is how they will protect themselves during the game. While the world is being asked to keep a distance of 6 feet from others in public, you can’t play hockey that way. People are also wearing gloves and masks so expect the players, coaches, referees and arena staff doing the same. Of course, it’s hard to breathe wearing an N95 mask while racing up and down the ice, so expect players to wear a modified full face shield.

Hockey’s New Look

In recent years, several players have played with jaw injuries requiring full face shields. The helmet comes with a full visor and what resembles a football face mask. As you can see in the photo of Zdeno Chara, the openings are too large and placed in front of the mouth. Newer shields will likely require modifications to the placement of where air can flow.

Chara (AP Photo)

Safety Protocols Under Consideration

Rumors on what some of the protocols being considered have been discussed for over a month. It is believed that the NHL will require players to wear full face shields, no scrums, no fighting, and no spitting on the ice if play resumes. Coaches will also need to wear masks and social distance, wingers will need to keep 2 feet apart on faceoffs also. While some of these make sense, there is zero point to keeping a 2‘ distance on faceoffs, especially since you can’t distance on the bench. What’s next, no body contact allowed? Seriously there would be no point to come back if that was going to be the case.

The NHL will certainly implement some of these protocols. What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments below.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore