Draper: I know how lucky I was

Updated: October 20, 2005, 11:09 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Wayne Gretzky and others have said that wearing a visor is an individual choice.

The Red Wings' Kris Draper has made up his mind.

After getting hit on the right side of his face by a puck, the Detroit center made it clear Wednesday, saying he has already put a visor on his helmet.

"I know how lucky I was. It was pretty close," Draper told The Detroit News. "Talking to the doctors, they recommended it, as soon as I come back playing, I'd have to wear it anyways. It's something that I'm going to give it a real strong effort.

"It's kind of different now. You wake up in the morning and the kids see you, and obviously it scares them, and it puts everything into perspective."

According to The News' report, Draper can see out of his right eye, but will have his orbital bone evaluated by doctors on Friday.

Draper previously wore a visor after getting nicked near the eye with a stick a few seasons ago. He stopped wearing it, outside of his appearance at the worlds, because of comfort reasons.

"... It's not just about me anymore," Draper told the newspaper. "All of a sudden you look at your kids and they look back at you and they're squinting and trying to find their dad behind the mask he's wearing right now. It's a little bit different, and puts a scare, not only in myself but my kids as well. That's something that has hit home the last couple of days."

The issue of visors has surfaced again in the NHL following recent facial injuries suffered by Draper and Toronto captain Mats Sundin. Sundin is out indefinitely. The Coyotes' Shane Doan, also took a puck in the eye Tuesday night.

The NHL has longed pushed for mandatory visors, but it's a matter that must be collectively bargained, which means the NHL Players' Association must sign off on it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.