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  • Sunday, March 12, 2000

    A capsule look at recent eye injuries in hockey:


     Sept. 21, 1999 -- Vancouver Canucks defenceman Mattias Ohlund took a puck in his right eye in an exhibition game. He is currently playing in the NHL with reduced vision. ------
     
     April 27, 1999 -- St. John's Leafs forward Mark Deyell took a stick in his left eye in an AHL playoff game when an opposing player was following through on a shot. Deyell required major surgery to save the eye and was cleared last fall to begin skating again. He has yet to return to active playing.
     --------
     
     Nov. 7, 1998 -- Lowell Lock Monsters defenceman Jeff Libby was cut in the right eye by the skate of St. John's Maple Leafs Mark Deyell. The eye was removed, ending Libby's playing career.
     ------
     
     April 5, 1995 -- Edmonton Oilers defenceman Ryan McGill was struck in the left eye by a puck, was declared legally blind in that eye and retired at 26. He currently coaches the WHL's Kootenay Ice.
     ------
     
     Oct. 16, 1994 -- St-Hyacinthe Lazer centre David-Alexandre Beauregard took a high stick under his three-quarter length visor while breaking for the net in a Quebec junior game. His left eye was removed. Beauregard continued a successful junior career and went on to play professionally in the minors.
     ------
     
     Dec. 28, 1996 -- Orlando Solar Bears left-winger Kevin Smyth was hit in the right eye by a puck during a game. Five surgeries were not enough to save his sight in that eye. Smyth, a former Hartford Whaler and brother of Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Smyth, continued a minor pro career.
     ------
     
     March 9, 1985 -- Montreal Canadiens forward Pierre Mondou was struck in the left eye by a stick while scoring the winning goal in a game against Hartford. Mondou was forced to retire at 29.
     ------
     
     January 1985 -- New York Rangers forward Anders Hedberg suffers damage to the retina in his left eye due to an errant stick. Hedberg was able to return to the lineup with diminished vision. He had planned the 1984-85 season to be his last before the injury occurred.
     ------
     
     Dec. 4, 1985 -- Fort Wayne Komets forward Hector Marini, a former Stanley Cup winner with the New York Islanders, takes a shot in the left eye of the stick of a teammate during a Central Hockey League game. His eye was removed and he retired from the game.
     ------
     
     Dec. 20, 1984 -- Montreal Canadiens player Jean Hamel retires from the NHL because his vision is weak and cloudy after being struck by a puck during an exhibition game against Boston.
     ------
     
     Dec. 1, 1983 -- Calgary Flames forward Jamie Hislop was struck in the eye by an opponent's stick. He played nine more games with the Flames but was forced to retire.
     ------
     
     1981-82 -- Chicago's Glen Sharpley's six-year NHL career ends with an eye injury. His $15,000 insurance claim was later to play a key role in the criminal case against Alan Eagleson.
     ------
     
     1974 -- Defenceman Greg Neeld wears first visor, playing in the WHA and the minor leagues after losing an eye playing for the junior Toronto Marlboros.



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