Like I said in an earlier post, I do not wear shoulders in my men’s league games. There are several of us that don’t—forwards included. We find the comfort factor of not wearing them more enjoyable than the limited protection they offer. Several times I have put the shoulders on and everyone in the locker room laughs ‘cause they know they’ll be off before the warm-ups are over. They just feel restrictive to me.
I also went from a full cage to a visor after about 6 months of playing. I have also been hit in the mouth with a wooden stick (on accident) and I still wear the visor. I never had a problem with the cage but at the same time, I enjoy not feeling like I am trapped inside of something.
Basically it all comes down to personal preference. Hockey is ALL personal preference.
And those aren't the guys he'll be playing against.
Exactly. The guys from the 70's and 80's I used to play with are worlds apart from the lower level rec leaguers I play with now. I played with no cage or visor for several months and not one puck or stick ever came above the knee. I probably take half a dozen sticks or pucks to the cage each season now.