Hockey Canada to move away from visors to cages on helmets

Players in Junior A level hockey across Canada may soon look a bit different.

According to Hockey Canada, players will have to move to cages rather than visors, which have become the norm in leagues across the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL).

In a statement, Hockey Canada said the move to full facial protection was implemented prior to the start of the new season.

“This past June, the 13 Members approved a playing rule change extending full facial protection under our playing rules to include Junior A,” the statement from Hockey Canada reads.

The statement continued to say the rule is to be implemented no later than Dec. 15, 2022.

The rule change will affect leagues such as the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) and the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL). According to a tweet by SJHL Commissioner Kyle McIntyre, Hockey Canada notified members of the CJHL on Oct. 21.

In a follow up tweet with user @kaiper68, McIntyre added that in the event of a fight, additional infractions may be laid on players who take off their helmets or cages in an altercation.

The SJHL and McIntyre declined to comment on the change.

The CJHL, however, responded with a statement to CTV News.

“The CJHL is engaged in discussions with the Hockey (Canada) Board on the directive presently, and will reserve public comment, until those discussions have been completed. We will be happy to comment, once those discussions are fully exercised,” reads the statement from President Brent Ladds.

As for players in Senior and Major Junior, such as the Western Hockey League (WHL), visors are optional.

“In all other categories and divisions of hockey including female hockey, the wearing of a CSA certified full facial protector will be compulsory,” reads Hockey Canada’s statement.

The Prairie Junior Hockey League (PJHL), Saskatchewan’s lone Junior B league, made a similar move to viewers beginning in 2019.

Playing without a cage in minor hockey is prohibited in all Hockey Canada sanctioned games and events.

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