Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Once again this season, scoring is down in the National Hockey League.
There are many reasons, but one of the most important can be traced to the usual lack of foresight from the league’s head office.
Without the slightest thought or consideration, the league allowed composite sticks to be introduced, just as years ago, also without any thought or consideration; it allowed aluminum sticks to be introduced.
Despondent, I swung down around Civic Center Drive, taking the waterfront route, and, through the columns that support Cobo Hall’s soft underbelly of service entrances and anonymous back doors that I could have and should have taken advantage of, I caught the top of the stack of a thousand-footer, slowly steaming upbound, just having cleared the Ambassador Bridge. I spun the car around, parked behind anonymous Chevy Corsica, and bolted for the Riverwalk, bidding a Sunday morning, “Hello” to the officers taking an end-to-end patrol, and watched the Century—it seems almost wrong to not note that it was once Oglebay Norton’s Columbia Star—gracefully, almost soundlessly churn its way toward Duluth for one more load of coal.
As I looked up toward Belle Isle, and down toward the flames slipping from the gas flares at the refineries and steel mills of Zug and the Rouge, I thought to myself, “At least the River, she never lets me down,” and headed back to the car.
Today the OneGoal Hockey Show begins at Cobo Hall in Detroit. OneGoal is a non-profit organization that’s helped kids get involved with hockey by providing affordable equipment and fundamentals clinics, working in partnership with Hockey Canada and the major equipment manufacturers to raise awareness of and interest in the game.
OneGoal’s partnered with the industry manufacturers to make sure that a portion of the hockey equipment industry’s profits, especially at its major trade show, goes back into growing the game itself, and that’s what this weekend’s show is all about—except that the public’s invited to take a gander at the equipment industry’s 2008 product for the first time.
from Brian Milner of the Globe and Mail,
Hockey legends Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky have surfaced as potential partners in groups interested in acquiring Nike Bauer, the world’s leading maker of skates and other hockey equipment….
“There’s a tremendous amount of people going to the next stage,” a person familiar with the process said. “At the end of the day, there are groups that will have [former] players involved. That includes Mario and Wayne.”
from the Toronto Star,
They’ve scored untold millions of goals on rinks, ponds and streets across the country, but in a few weeks’ time workers will lovingly fashion the last of Sher-Wood’s signature Quebec-made wooden hockey sticks.
It’s yet another sign of changing times: After 58 years, Sherwood-Drolet will, starting in January, farm out the mass production of wooden sticks and concentrate on the increasingly popular – and vastly profitable – business of making composite sticks fashioned from graphite, Kevlar and other synthetics.
from the Truro Daily News,
The Pure Power MouthGuard uses neuromuscular dentistry to relax the muscles and place the athlete’s jaw in the optimal position to enhance performance. The mouthguard brings the lower jaw down and forward to align the athlete’s bite. For some it increases balance, breathing or upper body strength.
“This is more than a mouthguard,” said Makkar, who referred to it as a legal performance enhancer.
Now it is being worn by members of NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks, the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens, the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, the NCAA’s Florida Gators basketball and football teams as well as competitors in Ultimate Fighting Challenge.
I recently spoke with Easton Hockey’s product manager Mike Mountain, about the company’s new S17 stick, which has an elliptical bulge below the lower hand, called “Torx” technology, which is supposed to help reduce energy loss and the tendency of composite stick blades to “open up” when they hit the ice.
There are a lot of products out right now that claim to strengthen the bottom of the shaft in terms of blades twisting, but when I saw this product, it just made intuitive sense to me, so I was really excited to talk about the concept of using an ellipse to strengthen the shaft.
I led off with the question at hand, asking about the physics that make “Torx” work:
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
For the eighth straight year, visor use by NHL players has risen from the previous season – and now stands at a full 50 per cent of the league – according to a new survey compiled by The Hockey News….
When The Hockey News first began tracking visor usage during the NHL’s 1998-99 campaign, only 15 per cent of players shielded their eyes. By 2001-02, that number had increased to 28 per cent (191 players), and by 2005-06, 38 per cent (244 players) were wearing visors.
Several weeks ago, readers were invited to submit a photo which they felt best illustrated the spirit of hockey coming into a new season, and now we have a winner: KK member “The Freak” will be receiving a new, $169 pair of Easton Hockey Stealth S11 hockey gloves for his great entry.
We also decided to give out an unplanned second prize to “Jdunc”. His submission titled “Game Face” was taken while dressed up to watch a hockey game at home on the couch, so we’ve thrown in a $25 gift certificate just for fun, to Ice Jerseys.com.
Both winners will be contacted next week, and you can see their submissions below. Our thanks to Easton Hockey for the prize, and we’ll look forward to another contest in a couple weeks.
And of course, thanks to everyone who participated!
Stephen Harris at the Boston Herald was the originator of some controversy yesterday when he noted:
According to sources in the B’s dressing room, Reebok has been unable to correct problems with the new jerseys introduced this season across the NHL and will replace them at the company’s expense with new uniforms made of the old materials.
This morning, Harris reports differently:
NHL senior vice president for communications Bernadette Mansur called about what she said were inaccuracies in a note here yesterday about the troublesome new Reebok jerseys.
Mansur said there will not be an across-the-board, leaguewide replacement of the shirts, which many players say tend to hold sweat inside, leading to drenched gloves. She said there are many players who have no problem with the new apparel, while those who want the replacements will get them.
Further, she said, the new shirts will not be made from the same material as in years past. They will have a new-performance fabric on their front half, with the back unchanged.
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