If the vision in Devils defenseman Colin White's damaged right eye somehow miraculously returned to normal, he says he would not wear a protective visor.
"If I had my eyesight, I wouldn't be wearing one," White said this morning after participating in an informal skate at the team's practice facility at Prudential Center.
When White reports with the other Devils' veterans for training camp physicals next Friday, it will mark the one-year anniversary of his injury. During a training camp practice on Sept. 19, 2007, he was struck in the right eye by a deflected shot off the stick of Nicklas Bergfors.
Although White's vision in his right eye improved marginally at first, he says it hasn't gotten any better since the end of last season and doctors have told him, "This is going to be it."
He's ready to put the injury behind him, though.
"There's still points in everyday life that affects you, but you move on," he said. "I'm not going to make excuses because of what happened to my eye."
And he's not about to become an advocate for making protective visors mandatory for all players in the NHL.
"It's everybody's personal decision," he said. "I don't think it ever should be mandatory. That's a player's choice. We're old enough to make that decision. Is it safer to wear a visor? Probably. But I would rather not wear it. It feels better. It's more comfortable without it. You still have to worry about (the visor) fogging up or getting wet."
Although Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner started wearing a visor last season because of White's injury, White said he didn't talk him into it.
"Jamie had tried one before," White said. "It's a personal preference and he was working out with me and he wanted to try it and got used to it."
White said he doesn't wear the visor now to keep his right eye from becoming damaged further, but to make sure his healthy left eye remains that way.
"It's to protect my other eye," he said. "I can't hurt the other one. That's my biggest thing because if I ever hurt the other eye, I wouldn't be able to have a regular life."
Thirteen players took part in this morning's informal skate -- White, Langenbrunner, Scott Clemmensen, Andy Greene, Sheldon Brookbank, Bryce Salvador, Johnny Oduya, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, David Clarkson, Dainius Zubrus, Brian Gionta and Jay Pandolfo.
Several other players, including Martin Brodeur, worked out off the ice.
The Devils held a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning to officially rename their practice rink at Prudential Center as the "AmeriHealth Pavilion.
Although Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said last week that it wasn't "set in stone" that training camp would not be open to the public, it appears it will not be. I've been told there is still a chance that practices during the regular season will be open to the public, though. I'll keep you posted.