Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Wired ASAP,
It may be more than 100 degrees outside, but inside this factory about 25 minutes south of the U.S. border, more than 500 workers are busy making equipment for a sport played on a large sheet of ice.
And they’re pretty busy, churning out about 7,000 hockey sticks a week. While Mexico is hardly the heart of hockey country, this is precisely where a large chunk of the NHL’s sticks are designed, tested and mass produced.
For the most part, hockey is about as foreign as a sport can get in Mexico, but the Easton Hockey plant has its own roller hockey team—and they’re well equipped, of course.
*There’s also a video slideshow available.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
To correct that problem Reebok says it has developed a treatment that permits sweat to escape through the fibers, yet still manages to stay reasonably dry.
This new sweater is being shipped to teams around the league, with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Reebok’s spokesman Sidney Crosby likely to debut the modifications as early as Friday.
from Uni Watch at ESPN,
All of which shows that changing an entire league’s uniforms en masse, as the NHL and Reebok have done this season, is a tricky proposition. There’s no precedent for it among the major team sports—the closest parallel is the sea change in baseball triggered in 1970 by the Pirates, who switched from button-up vests, belted pants, and flannel fabric to a pullovers, elastic waistbands, and double-knit polyester. Within three years, all 24 MLB teams had gone to polyester, 14 had switched from button fronts to pullovers, and 16 had switched from belts to waistbands.
But that gradual transition happened incrementally, whereas the NHL changes—which involve graphics and aesthetics as much as new fabrics and tailoring considerations—are being thrust upon us all at once. With the regular season slated to begin this weekend, every single team has new uniforms, although some of the changes are more modest than others.
from the Toronto Star,
Gretzky is plugging a new, battery-warmed skate blade that melts ice to give its wearer — so the endorsements contend — more speed with less work and overall, a better hockey experience.
Hey, is it too late for the Leafs to place an order?
The Thermablade inventor, Calgarian Tory Weber, says the steamy steel is not a novelty item, like Cooperalls, nasal strips or pyramid power. The 43-year-old, who spent more than $5 million over five years to bring his idea to market, believes the “fairly simple physics” behind the electronic blade will revolutionize hockey for competitive players.
Find out more about Therma Blade...
from the Calgary Sun,
Having now sampled the new, high-tech togs unveiled by all 30 NHL teams this year for a handful of pre-season games, Flames players are understanding why the word sweat is in sweater.
“My undershirt is just soaked,” said forward Owen Nolan. “I find I’m changing them in between periods and a lot more frequently than before. I feel like I’m working out in a sauna.”...
“With the other ones, you had holes and got more of a breeze in there—maybe that’s why you got that drying out effect,” said blueliner Cory Sarich. “These seem to heat you up more because there’s not that two-way air flow.
“Besides, the jerseys don’t feel much different than the old ones. I don’t know if they’ve accomplished what they want. From talking to guys, I don’t feel they’re making a difference on the ice.”
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The Penguins agree, pretty much to a man, that the high-tech sweaters they will be wearing this season are lighter and more comfortable than the ones they replaced.
They also concur that the new sweaters are extremely effective at repelling moisture, exactly as planned.
Trouble is, quite a few have concluded that is not necessarily a good thing….
“[The sweaters] don’t soak anything in, which I guess is what they wanted,” Recchi said. “But the problem is, it goes through all of your equipment. It goes into your gloves, goes into your skates.”
And eventually saturates the leather in both, leaving the players feeling as if their hands and feet are immersed in liquid. Perhaps because, at least in some cases, they are.
from The Journal,
Wearing the practice version of the new style of jerseys they debuted last night at the Garden, each reacted as if they were looking at a different person.
“If people had heard I didn’t wear shoulder pads beforehand, now they know I don’t,” said a slightly less-imposing Brendan Shanahan, who for the record, wears slight pads on his shoulders.
“Man, I look tiny,” Sean Avery said.
Only Darius Kasparaitis, newly chiseled after shedding 20 pounds over the summer, seemed impressed.
“I look sexy,” he said.
from PR Newswire via CNN:
[Nike] also announced today its intent to explore the sale of Nike Bauer Hockey. Following a strategic review of the company’s affiliate brands portfolio, Nike determined that despite the strength of the business, Nike Bauer Hockey does not align with the Company’s long-term growth priorities and exploring a sale is the best strategic alternative. The Company expects the exploration process and any potential sale that maximizes Nike Bauer Hockey’s value to Nike will be completed within the current fiscal year.
Commenting on the anticipated sale, Parker said: “We are focused on investing our resources where we will achieve the greatest returns, both within the Nike brand and within a strong portfolio of complementary affiliate brands. We’re confident it’s the right choice for our Company as we maximize our opportunities and drive toward our long-term growth targets. Given Nike Bauer’s market leading position, we believe we will be able to effectively execute this transaction.”
continued... NikeBauer is one of hockey’s heaviest hitters, so this is going to get more and more interesting as time goes on.
added 12:16pm, The Hockey News has more on this, stating it could be sold by May 31, 2008.
The promotional photo shoot of NHL players using the new Easton gear was videotaped.
Some players are using the new Easton Stealth S17 stick.
From Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice,
Enforcer Cam Janssen might have injured his shoulder tonight because of the league’s new Reebok Edge sweaters. His sweater ripped during his two first period fights with Philadelphia’s Jesse Boulerice. That might have helped Boulerice pull Janssen’s jersey over his head in both altercations and win both decisively. Arron Asham also had his sweater tear during his fight with Riley Cote.
“These new jerseys are supposed to make you faster, but what good are they if they tear that easily,” Mike Rupp said.
*Hat tip to hockeyfights.com for passing on the story
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.
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