HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced Wednesday that the AHL's Board of Governors, currently convened for its Annual Meeting, has overwhelmingly approved the mandatory use of protective visors by all of its players, beginning with the upcoming 2006-07 season.
"This is a very significant and progressive step in the evolution of our league," said Andrews. "The safety of our world-class athletes remains a top priority, and after lengthy discussions with the Professional Hockey Players' Association and medical experts, there is no doubt in our minds that this is necessary and the right thing to do."
All AHL skaters, regardless of age or experience, will be required to wear approved visors beginning this fall.
"We particularly appreciate the leadership provided to us on this issue by Dr. Michael J. Stuart, Chief Medical Officer of USA Hockey and Co-Director of the Sports Medicine Center at the Mayo Clinic," added Andrews. "His research and articulate presentations to our Board and to our Players' Association were very helpful in this process."
In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 82 percent of today's NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the fifth year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2005-06.