In the modern era of the NHL, visorless players have become a rarity.
Once a symbol of toughness and grit, the league has seen a shift towards player safety, and as a result, the number of visorless players has dwindled. So, which NHL players don’t wear a visor?
In this article, we’ll take a look at all the remaining NHL visorless players in 2022-23, including a pair of Benn brothers and NHL fan favorite Ryan Reaves.
Ryan O’Reilly, Toronto Maple Leafs
Ryan O’Reilly, a center for the Toronto Maple Leafs, is a rare combination of skill and grit. Known for his strong two-way game and faceoff prowess, O’Reilly has managed to excel on the ice while remaining one of the few visorless players in the NHL. His calm demeanor and focus on the game make him a force to be reckoned with, despite his decision to forgo the added protection of a visor.
Zack Kassian, Arizona Coyotes
As a power forward, Zack Kassian’s role on the Arizona Coyotes has always been to provide energy and physicality. His visorless appearance adds to the intimidation factor, as he frequently uses his size and strength to win battles along the boards and in front of the net. Kassian’s decision to play without a visor is a nod to the old-school style of hockey he embodies.
Zach Bogosian, Tampa Bay Lightning
Zach Bogosian has made a career as a stay-at-home defenseman, known for his physical play and shot-blocking abilities. A member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Bogosian has continued the tradition of visorless defensemen, showcasing a hard-nosed approach to the game that is increasingly rare in today’s NHL.
Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars’ captain, Jamie Benn, is another example of a visorless player who excels in multiple aspects of the game. Benn’s blend of skill, physicality, and leadership has made him one of the league’s premier power forwards. As the face of the Stars’ franchise, Benn’s decision to play without a visor is both a symbol of toughness and a testament to his old-school mentality.
Matt Martin, New York Islanders
Matt Martin, a winger for the New York Islanders, is best known for his role as an enforcer. With a reputation for big hits and dropping the gloves, Martin’s visorless appearance aligns with the traditional image of a tough guy in the NHL. His commitment to protecting his teammates and providing energy on the ice has made him a fan favorite among Islanders faithful.
Milan Lucic, Calgary Flames
Milan Lucic, a member of the Calgary Flames, has built a reputation as one of the most intimidating power forwards in the league. Never shying away from physical play or dropping the gloves, Lucic’s decision to forgo a visor only adds to his fearsome presence on the ice. Fans of the Flames have undoubtedly enjoyed watching Lucic lose it on Mathieu Joseph, showcasing his willingness to stand up for his teammates and play with intensity.
Jordie Benn, Toronto Maple Leafs
Jordie Benn, older brother of Jamie Benn, has carved out a career as a reliable defenseman in the NHL. While not as offensively gifted as his younger sibling, Jordie’s steady defensive play and willingness to block shots have made him a valuable asset on the blueline. As another visorless player, Jordie’s appearance harkens back to an earlier era of hockey, with his gritty style of play embodying the traditional defenseman’s role.
Ryan Reaves, Minnesota Wild
Perhaps the most iconic visorless player in the league today, Ryan Reaves of the New York Rangers has earned a reputation as one of the NHL’s toughest enforcers. With a penchant for delivering crushing hits and demolishing opponents in fights, Reaves’ visorless appearance is a fitting tribute to the old-school tough guys who came before him. As the league continues to prioritize player safety, Reaves stands as a reminder of the toughness and grit that have always been a part of the sport.
Verdict on NHL Visorless Players
As the NHL moves towards increased player safety, visorless players like Ryan O’Reilly, Zack Kassian, Zach Bogosian, Jamie Benn, Matt Martin, Milan Lucic, Jordie Benn, and Ryan Reaves represent a dying breed.
While the league has undoubtedly changed, these players serve as a reminder of the toughness and intensity that have always been an integral part of the game.
As the number of visorless players dwindles, the legacy of these gritty competitors will live on in the hearts and minds of hockey fans everywhere.