Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ellen Jean Hirst of the Chicago Tribune,
Beginning with the NFL's regular season, players will be equipped with tracking technology in their shoulder pads measuring how fast, far and what routes they run – in real time.
How far did that player actually run to gain 4 yards? How fast? When, exactly, did he start running out of steam?
This NFL regular season, players will be equipped with tracking technology in their shoulder pads that will tell broadcasters and fans, in real time, the answers to those questions and more.
I could imagine some players may not like being 'followed' on the ice, but I think it would be useful.
But coach, I did go to the net, but coach, I did back check, etc... No you didn't!
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
Hockey helmets may be on the verge of a radical makeover, as scientists and engineers at Virginia Tech prepare a rating system that measures each brand’s and model’s ability to reduce the risk of concussion.
“After football, hockey is the sport that produces the highest rate of concussion,” said Dr. Stefan M. Duma, a Virginia Tech professor and the head of the university’s biomedical engineering department. “We want to produce a mechanism to try and reduce that risk of concussion.”...
“This is going to hit hockey like a ton of bricks,” said Dale Pfriem, president of ICS Laboratories, an Ohio-based company that tests and assesses personal protective equipment. Pfriem was part of a group of hockey helmet manufacturers and testers invited to Virginia Tech to review the center’s methodology before formal testing begins.
Hockey helmets have been relatively thin and light throughout their long history, closer in spirit to cycling helmets than football headgear. Even in recent years, as design evolved to make them more effective in preventing skull fractures, hockey helmets have remained lightweight and without much internal padding.
from Bryan Weismiller of MetroNews,
Like many youngsters who outgrow their youth-sized lumber, Jack was equipped with a mid-priced junior stick that had seven inches lobbed off the top of it.
Modifying the stick made the shaft too firm for even some NHL stars.
“His 55 flex turned into an 85 flex,” Reily said. “Alex Ovechkin is 225 pounds, built like a Neanderthal, and he had a more flexible stick than my son at seven years old.
“That was the problem.”
After developing some more bendable prototypes, Reily and a neighbour teamed up with sports researchers at the University of Calgary. It lead to what’s billed as a first-of-its-kind research project using players aged five to eight years old.
That’s also where the duo discovered a third partner for their venture.
The group eventually came up with a 20-flex junior stick, which falls in line with the general rule that hockey stick flex should be roughly half of the skater’s body weight.
Reily stressed the importance of buying proper equipment, saying the stiff sticks of today are encouraging kids to develop bad habits.
“They’re putting their sticks on the puck and twisting their body to flick it,” he said.
Since the middle ages ice hockey has been played with round pucks. For obvious reasons, round pucks are predictable. So this is why we are proud to present the first non-round hockey puck, the Aalto puck.
Inspired by the free forms of the Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto.
The Aalto Puck is made in the same material as a regular hockey puck and behaves in the same way on ice with one fundamental difference - it has a built in randomness, it doesn't bounce as a regular puck, it can, depending on how it's hit, speed off in different ways. And more importantly, by adding an element of chance it's the most equal puck produced. Advantages are randomly given to either of the two competing teams.
more and they are looking for people to help in their research and will send you a free puck (limited quantities)...
from the Financial Review,
It’s small, it measures more than 100 fields of data and it’s discretely worn under the jerseys of AFL footballers, the shoulder pads of NHL ice-hockey players and even the waistcoats of Spanish bullfighters.
GPS tracking devices for professional sportsmen and women are becoming increasingly important to sports scientists and coaches to measure player movement and fatigue during matches and training – everything from how quickly an athlete accelerates to how their heart changes – to improve game strategy and training programs.
And the world’s biggest provider, Catapult Sports, is operating out of small factory in South Melbourne.
“We’re on the way to being a billion-dollar company one day,” says Catapult chairman Adir Shiffman. From modest beginnings, with a few AFL players as clients, the company has sold its devices to the Dallas Cowboys in the US’s National Football League, Italian soccer giant AC Milan and recently picked up its first ice-hockey team, the Philadelphia Flyers.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Chances are excellent that a shop in Middleton is the only place in the world where the heads of Tuukka Rask, Jimmy Howard, Brian Elliott, and Anton Khudobin are stacked next to each other on a dusty and well-worn cabinet, looking like they belong on Easter Island.
The space is the headquarters of Pro’s Choice. It is a company that designs and produces custom goalie masks in conjunction with Vaughn Hockey. Dom Malerba, a former Malden Catholic goalie, launched Pro’s Choice in 1988. Since then, Malerba has been the company’s one-man assembly line, responsible for everything except the sundae-topping paint job adorning each of his masks.
The heads of the NHL goalies are the cement busts of Malerba’s clients. To make each piece fit perfectly, Malerba needs the heads — he produces them after taking a plaster mold of the goalies’ faces — and all the respective bumps and contours of noses and cheeks and foreheads.
Malerba’s familiarity with his clients is to a point where he can look at one of the gray cement blocks and tell whose face it represents.
continued plus more hockey topics...
from Josh Kosman and Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Sports megabrand Adidas is weighing a move to lower the team-sports profile of its Reebok unit, The Post has learned.
The move may first be seen in the NHL where, sources said, Adidas has recently asked the NHL for permission to replace Reebok as its official uniform supplier with its brand.
In fact, in locker rooms during this week’s NHL Stadium Series games at Yankee Stadium, the cold-weather gear handed out to players for the Rangers, Islanders and Devils was Adidas brand — not Reebok.
The NHL told players to cover up the Adidas logo — including those on T-shirts and underwear — when the media is in their locker rooms, because the NHL has not approved a supplier change, two sources close to the situation said.
EyeBlack, the official EyeBlack of Athletes, is proud to announce the use of eye black in professional Hockey. Both of EyeBlack’s patented and proprietary glare reducing products, grease tubes and adhesive-strips, were utilized by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, LA Kings, Anaheim Ducks, NY Rangers, NJ Devils and NY Islanders in their outdoor hockey games. This introduction signifies a breakthrough into Hockey, a major sport where eye black is not traditionally worn.
The Detroit Red Wings Head Equipment manager Paul Boyer commented, “The eye black was very effective in keeping the glare from the lights on the ice out of our player’s eyes. Our players especially liked the fact that it didn’t rundown their faces as the snow pounded away at them all game.”
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
If the NHL’s move to smaller pads was initially opposed by many of the men who go to work wearing them, certainly the statistics have softened resistance. Scoring is up only a fraction this season, to 5.34 goals a game from 5.30 a season ago.
Meanwhile, the league-average save percentage has gone in a counterintuitive direction. Two seasons ago it was .911. Last year it was .909. This year it’s at .914. If the new-found mobility provided by smaller pads hasn’t been solely responsible for making goalies better, it’s hard to argue they’ve made them worse.
Still, Whitmore, the league’s senior manager of hockey operations, said the changes have done what they were designed to do — specifically, to ensure that goaltenders are required to make “more athletic saves” rather than simply allowing supersized equipment to block pucks.
“If it’s an athletic save, it’s as exciting as a goal,” said Whitmore, 46, who played goal in 155 NHL games. “Sometimes we were getting to the point where these big pads were just getting in the way and the pucks are just hitting them. I’m not saying there’s a right way and a wrong way to play goal. But when you watched Mike Palmateer and those guys as a kid, it was exciting. It made you want to be a goalie.
“We want to see the best athletes (wanting) to be goalies again. Football always has the best athletes at wide receiver and quarterback. Goalie is the most important position on most teams. Why not have the best athlete?”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org