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Friday, October 7, 2005
Leafs' Sundin might wear visor when he returns

Associated Press

TORONTO -- After getting hit in the face by a puck earlier this week, Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin might use a visor when he returns.

"Yeah, I think so, I think I've used all my good breaks," Sundin said Friday, meeting reporters for the first time since getting hit in the left eye seven minutes into Wednesday's season opener.

"I've had some close calls with my eyes before. Definitely when I start playing I'm going to have to wear one for sure and hopefully I can continue it. That's my goal, for sure."

The fact that he's not totally sure he'll keep the visor on underlines the reluctance many NHL players have in wearing one.

"I'm well aware on the discussion on both ends of the argument," Leafs GM John Ferguson said. "Personal choice versus safety, or comfort versus safety. It's an issue that in many ways remains unresolved. But I have encouraged those who want to wear one to do so, for sure."

Sundin, who suffered a fractured orbital bone, is out at least four-to-six weeks and maybe longer if he ends up needing surgery. Doctors will re-examine him in five-to-six days once the swelling goes down and determine whether the orbital bone is healing on its own.

His injury has once again sparked debate about having visors become mandatory in the NHL, the Leafs are a little sensitive to the subject after defenseman Bryan Berard lost vision in one eye after taking a high stick in March 2000.

"I can only go back to when I was on the ice when Bryan Berard's eye injury happened to him, it's certainly something you don't want anyone to go through," Sundin said.