Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Kelly Sinoski at Canwest via Global,
The helmet, unveiled Tuesday by University of B.C. researchers, promises to lessen the direct impact to the neck by 56 per cent in a head-on crash.
Designed for hard-hitting sports such as hockey, football, snowboarding, motorcycling and mountain biking, the helmet has an inner shell that will guide the head to tilt slightly forward or backward on impact. [...]
“It’s to reduce the load in the neck so we can prevent fractures and prevent spinal cord injuries,” said Peter Cripton, a professor in mechanical engineering at UBC and co-inventor of the so-called Pro-Neck-Tor helmet.
There will be subtle modifications done for next season, like eliminating some of the ‘extra padding’ that helps goaltenders stop pucks as opposed to protecting them.
A universal measurement system will be developed so goalies will wear equipment that will properly fit them as opposed to wearing bulky gear. The measurement system is at least a year away from happening, but it’s designed for the process of ‘shaping’ goaltenders as opposed to making them look more square like we’ve seen in recent years.
From Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
...Wednesday’s meeting will focus on examining the “configuration and dimensions of goaltender equipment with respect to safety and performance.” Any changes to the rules governing said equipment that are deemed warranted by the group will then go to the Competition Committee for consideration.
The guys charged with redefining the fine line between excess padding and protection is an interesting one. GM’s Doug Risebrough, Brett Hull, Jim Rutherford and Garth Snow—the latter two being former goaltenders—make up the NHL contingency while the NHLPA’s representation consists of shooters Dany Heatley and Mike Cammalleri and stoppers Martin Brodeur, Rick DiPietro and Ryan Miller.
That is a diverse and knowledgeable collection, but what can we seriously expect from their efforts?
from the NHLPA,
The Goalie Equipment Working Group will meet on June 11, 2008 in Toronto to examine the configuration and dimensions of goaltender equipment with respect to safety and performance. If the working group decides alterations to the rules governing goaltender equipment are warranted, and will not jeopardize the safety of the goalies, these recommendations will be forwarded to the Competition Committee for consideration.
As KK readers know, this was pointed out by Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe early in April, and Michael Russo wrote about it in February.
A hockey entertainer is reporting this as breaking news, but that’s the entertainment business…
From Rick Sadowski at the Rocky Mountain News,
The two most important pieces of hockey equipment, according to Milan Hejduk, are his skates and his sticks.
“Everything else is pretty much the same,” the Avalanche right wing says. “These two are pretty personal. Everybody likes different things.”
But even that is changing in what has become a high-tech world of hockey equipment. The wooden stick, once considered as essential as ice, has become rarer than a bench-clearing brawl. Of the more than 700 players employed by the 30 NHL teams, it’s believed only 13 still are using wooden sticks.
from the Owen Sound Sun Times,
Pearce said he has sharpened skates for at least a dozen professional hockey players. It was his good friend and former Detroit Red Wings goalie Dennis Riggin, who helped him design the custom sharpening machine he uses today, specifically for goaltenders.
Pearce operated the first hollow grind machine in Western Ontario after his father purchased it from Winnipeg in the 1940s for 25 cents.
“It was the only machine in our area with a flat ground, cross cut,” said Pearce.
He ended up taking over the skate-sharpening business from his father and set up shop under the seats in the former Kincardine arena in 1948. He was just 16 years old.
Pearce’s secret to the perfectly cut skate, whether it be a hockey, goalie or figure skate, came from a machine he saw while playing hockey in Switzerland with the Kincardine Oldstars in 1977. He brought the idea home and built his own version of the machine.
From Dave Stubbs in The Gazette, it seems that Carey Price has some sharp new goalie gear…
And if you think he’s excited, wait until the minor-, garage-league and semi-pro goalies of the world get wind of it.
On goalie-populated Internet forums and bulletin boards, where all things netminding are rumoured, discussed and debated, Price’s new gear isn’t likely to cause a ripple of interest, but a tsunami.
The graphic scheme is expected to be available at retail stores sometime this summer, at roughly $1,700 for the pads and $500 and $325, respectively, for the trapper and blocker.
The interest among goalies in what’s worn by the top pros, says Achenbach, “is goofy, crazy ... Star Wars hype times 10.”
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
[Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett Jr.] said that because of a couple of requests from the teams involved, the Canadiens arranged to take and wear their red jerseys—in this era, considered part of the NHL’s home uniform—at all four stops on the trip.
Why? Because the red jerseys more colorfully highlight the tradition of the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge.
That’s the most glaring example of why the NHL should go back to having visiting teams wear their “dark” uniforms at every stop. This is another instance when the post-expansion era had it right: White at home, dark on the road was the system from the early 1970s to 2003, and the league should go back to it.
from the Barrie Examiner,
...an informal survey of players practising at the Barrie Molson Centre this week revealed neck protection is not popular among this OHL team.
“I’m not for it. I’m against it,” 19-year-old forward Cory McGillis said as he and his teammates got re-acquainted with neck guards this week. They will wear them for the first time in a game tomorrow. “I haven’t worn one for five years. It’s just annoying.”
“Graduating out of ‘AAA’, I was relieved to get rid of the neck guard,” rookie forward Marcus Pepe said. “It was always a pain in the butt, and it was gross throwing on wet. I find it really uncomfortable.
“But I guess it saves lives, right?”
from the Globe and Mail,
Graeme Roustan is an admitted hockey nut who has always been on the margins of the sport, first as a kid playing on the outdoor rinks of Montreal and then as an adult running a U.S. company that builds and equips indoor ice rinks.
He also believes what sporting goods giant Nike Inc. doesn’t: That the game he loves has plenty of room to grow and produce big profits for equipment suppliers.
Now, the 47-year-old Canadian expatriate has a chance to prove it after teaming up with private equity firm Kohlberg & Co. in a $200-million (U.S.) cash deal for Nike’s hockey subsidiary.
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