The Washington Capitals took to their social media on Wednesday to ask Caps fans an important question: Which Alex Ovechkin visor is your favorite?
The Capitals got hundreds of responses, including from Alex Ovechkin.
Ovi picked the mirrored visor that he first wore in the NHL during his rookie season in 2005.
The visor made him look like RoboCop.
CCM, Ovechkin’s equipment manufacturer, commented.
“Tinted visor is just my style,” Ovechkin said in a Hockey News Q&A in December 2005. “I only wear it for that reason.”
A year later, however, the mirrored visor was gone and Ovi wore the smoky visor that is featured in option 2. It was later revealed that Devils’ Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur complained that the visor gave Ovechkin a competitive advantage. Ovechkin was the only player who wore the mirrored visor at the time.
“I said it wasn’t right because my game is watching an athlete, and especially when it gets to a shootout, it makes it tougher for me if I can’t see his eyes,” Brodeur said to the Daily News.
Before the next season started, the league’s GMs voted to ban the visor 29-1 with the Capitals’ George McPhee the lone dissenter. The NHL and NHLPA discussed Ovechkin’s mirrored visor in a June 2006 meeting but never made a rule to explicitly ban it, meaning Ovechkin could wear it again.
According to the meeting notes, the discussion went like this:
Colin Campbell asks what he should do about tinted/mirrored visors? He does not understand why anyone would need one. Alexander Ovechkin wears one.
Marty Turco and Rob Blake agree that they never look at other players’ eyes. They do not feel there is any competitive advantage. It is more of a style thing.
Gary Bettman states that players are not allowed to wear these visors at IIHF events and do not seem to complain, so why do we allow them in the NHL?
Ian Penny wonders why the League would want to detract from something that Ovechkin feels is good for the way he plays/his image. He notes that there has not been an explosion of these Visors.
Kevin Lowe asks what if someone were to wear a bright colored visor. Does this undermine the integrity of the uniform?
Stu Grimson states that the NFL allows its players to wear tinted visors, why shouldn’t the NHL?
Bill Daly states that the major concern is with visors that are too colorful.
Colin Campbell notes that the League probably could have outlawed them under the rule book from day one. Stu Grimson responds that this ability has been waived.
Colin Campbell states that if there is not an appetite to get rid of them, then so be it.
Don Waddell notes that this is only true of tinted visors, mirrored visors are still not allowed. Even the tinted visors cannot be too dark. He notes that they agreed at the last Competition Committee meeting that you had to be able to see a player’s eyes through them from reasonably close.
Stu Grimson asks if there is a specific distance from which we have to be able to see the player’s eyes? Don Waddell responds there is not.
The next season, Ovechkin sampled several new tinted visors to try, according to Tarik El-Bashir.
Eric Derepentigny, the hockey program manager for Oakley, brought about a half dozen variations of mirrored visors for Ovechkin try. The 21-year-old Russian immediately reached for the blue iridium one.
“It’s me,” Ovechkin said after the skate.
Screenshot courtesy of the @Capitals
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.