Those that wish Ryan Getzlaf would keep the clear Ryan Getzlaf Jerseys visor that he has been uncomfortable using whenever it’s been required can readily point to his sublime four-assist effort Thursday against the New York Islanders and ask how a protective piece of plastic can bother him.
To some, it makes no sense to not wear one. Players coming into the league have all some type of facial protection while growing up and continue to use visors after the NHL made it mandatory in 2013. The number of those players that were allowed to continue without decreases with each passing year.
Just six percent of those skating to start the 2017-18 season are not, with Getzlaf and Kevin Bieksa the only two among the Ducks. There is no guarantee that players won’t suffer a facial injury from a high-speed puck or a wayward stick but that piece of plastic has proven to reduce the damage those can cause.
And after suffering a fractured cheekbone when a deflected shot hit him square and put him out for five weeks, Getzlaf gets why management or fans or family members would ask him to reconsider and just add that layer of protection. Given his stature as the leader of the Ducks, that it is not only prudent but perhaps his duty as a $9-million playmaking asset.
But not wearing one, in his mind, matters.
“The thing is, it’s the stuff that they don’t see that makes the difference for me,” Getzlaf said Friday, comfortably discussing the subject after the Ducks worked out at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ suburban practice facility.
It is about comfort to him. Comfort in seeing all of the action from one side to the other without the feeling that something is obstructing his vision, which he considers paramount to his game. Of course, it’s that vision that can be threatened if the close calls he’s avoided suddenly became a direct hit.
There have been conversations with his general Anaheim Ducks Jerseys manager, Bob Murray, at work. There have been talks with his wife, Paige, at home. Yet, the Ducks’ biggest star remains steadfast.
“Paige and I have talked about it a few different times,” Getzlaf said. “Obviously the one I got hit from Shane Doan in the forehead (in 2010) was a big one. I was out for a while. And I did make the decision to wear it of the rest of that year, that season. And it was a rough year.
“Murph and our ownership would prefer me to wear it, I think. But they also prefer for me to be comfortable and producing and playing at the level that they’re used to seeing. It’s one of those things you weigh it in and out.”
There was a point when Getzlaf accepted the risk that came with what he saw was a rite of passage as he looked to break into the NHL after the Ducks drafted him in 2003. He recalled his first training camp where then-coach Mike Babcock asked players who were headed back to junior hockey or college to put a visor back on.
The center wouldn’t, partly to show Babcock that Cheap NHL Jerseys he was intent on making the Ducks. He didn’t that fall. But in removing it, Getzlaf made up his mind and would deal with the potential pitfalls if he were struck in the face.
“There’s risk in everything we do in this game,” he said. “Whether it’s knee injuries, foot injuries. And the head and stuff is obviously a sensitive issue for a lot of people. And I do take that into consideration. Overall, I signed up to play this game the way I want to play it.”
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