Karl Alzner has played with a visor throughout his hockey career, but the Capitals’ young defenseman was without his usual windshield Thursday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Alzner skated in a particularly foggy rink during the offseason and opted to remove the visor from his helmet.
“It actually went through the washing machine and the dryer,” Alzner said. “I forgot it was in my laundry and it got scratched up. But I don’t know, I kind of like it no-visor.”
The decision to wear or not wear a visor has been a common subject of debate in the NHL in recent years as injuries — like the ones suffered by Capitals defenseman Tom Poti in the 2010 playoffs and Vancouver forward Manny Malhotra, who is still recovering from taking a puck to the face last year — continue to spark discussion.
Quite a few Capitals didn’t wear visors last season, including Mike Knuble, Jason Chimera, Brooks Laich, Matt Hendricks, Dennis Wideman, John Erskine, D.J. King and Roman Hamrlik.
Alzner hasn’t yet decided whether he’ll be sans visor in the upcoming season.
“I’m going to skate like this for now, see how it is,” Alzner said. “Of course I’m a little nervous about sticks in the face, pucks in the face, but I’m going to see how it is in practice, maybe an exhibiton game.
“If I feel alright out there then I might keep it that way, because it’s better to see, I think,” Alzner continued. “This is the first time I’ve ever skated without a visor. The first couple times you do it it’s kind of scary because pucks fly off the crossbar and post all the time — it takes a while to get used to it.”
I’ll have another post Friday with more about Alzner’s offseason, which included a new training regimen and a new diet, so keep an eye out for that.