Hnidy

Hnidy

Boston Bruins defenseman Shane Hnidy, who has missed the club’s last two games with a severely swollen left eye, was able to participate in the team’s full practice today at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington.

Hnidy, who took a Cal Clutterbuck shot to the face against Minnesota Jan. 6, usually does not wear a shield on his helmet, but he did today and will have to for a short time. Hnidy said today that he was awaiting doctor’s clearance to return to game action.

Bruins head coach Clade Julien can sympathize with Hnidy. The Bruins’ bench boss revealed today that he suffered a similar injury in Europe during his playing days, and “almost lost” his eye. He had to wear a shield for a short time but then discarded it because he couldn’t get used to it.

“For me, my thought process is on that, if you’ve played your whole life with one, or at least a half visor, why take it off if you’re used to playing with it. Guys that haven’t played with it, I know it can be something that’s not that easy to get used to,” Julien said. “At the same time, there’s going to be a debate. I’ve seen a lot of injuries happen with guys that have visors. The blade gets caught under the visor and they’ve lost an eye anyway. So it can be a debatable thing.”