Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette (via Calgary Herald):
“What we’re saying is that the helmet is the most important piece of performance equipment we have,” Mark Messier said. “So The Messier Project is about trying to change that whole philosophy and the education that goes behind it.”
But the M11 helmet hasn’t been very popular with NHL players (only 12 of them are wearing it this season), partly because of “the look” and possibly because it is marketed as providing extra protection.
“The NHL still continues to be our greatest challenge,” Mary-Kay said. “One of the things we’re really working on is changing the culture of hockey so that head protection becomes a priority. The No. 1 criteria for selecting a helmet should be the protection a player gets and that it fits well to optimize performance, and not just limiting it to the look of the helmet. Part of the culture (in the NHL) is that if you choose a more protective helmet, does that in some way make you a weaker player?”
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
In February, the NHL put its stamp of approval on a new type of padding that soon will wrap stanchions inside an NHL rink near you.
The Fusion Safety Pad is taller, thicker and denser than the current industry standard and was developed by Minneapolis’ Sports Resource Group.
Over the past three weeks, the company has been negotiating a contract with the NHL. Once that’s finalized, “We can pull the trigger on production instantly [in Fridley] and have these in the hands of arena operators in seven to 10 days,” said Chris Guertin, President of Sports Resource Group. “Our goal would be to get these in the arenas for the playoffs.
“Unfortunately, if this [Pacioretty’s] hit happened April 8 instead of March 8, it probably would have been a non-factor and he would have skated off,” Guertin added.
Take a look at some famous pucks.
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
For the first time since THN began compiling visor statistics in 1998-99, the number of NHLers wearing eye protection has plateaued. And a pair of personal stories from two players on opposite sides of the issue sheds light as to why.
First, though, the hard numbers: of 647 players polled this year, 59 percent (381) wore a visor, while 41 percent (266) did not. That is the same percentage as our 2009 visor poll. Of course, the overall numbers of visor-wearing players has skyrocketed since 1998-99, when just 15 percent donned a shield, and the percentage had risen each year until now.
But in talking to current players who have put a visor on, or taken one off, the overall message is clear: players still want the choice. Washington defenseman Tom Poti began wearing a visor this season after sustaining a serious eye injury (and a temporary loss of vision) in the first round of the 2010 playoffs.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN talks to Kris King of the NHL regarding the change in equipment.
Also, much more on concussions from Pierre at ESPN.
from Ian Walker of the Vancouver Sun,
There is no longer a single NHL player wielding the true meaning of the word twig. Like zero. Zilch. Zip.
Even more upsetting is there probably will never be again.
“It’s the end of an era,” said Phoenix Coyotes defenceman Adrian Aucoin, one of the last holdouts, who switched last season. “In my case, Reebok changed factories with their shaft and the wood stick they produce now is a completely different stick. It was just not close to what I used to. I wasn’t so thrilled about it, but times change and you have to move on.”
The same thing happened to Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza when his brand of choice, Sherwood-Drolet, decided to farm out the mass production of wooden sticks to such far-flung places as Estonia and China in order to concentrate on the production of composite models.
Same goes for 24-year-old Paul Stastny, the last of the Luddites. The Colorado Avalanche centre switched from a Sherwood wooden to a Sherwood one-piece at the start of this season.
Yesterday I received a nice surprise- An Easton Synergy EQ50 hockey stick.
Now all I need to do is find some ice.
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
Trevor Leahy’s daydreaming in a high school chemistry class two years might not have done much for his grades, but it’s having a healthy effect on his bank account.
With a sketch pad at hand, Leahy began doodling a design for the new goalie pads he needed.
In process, the 19-year-old reasoned with the era of swollen goalie equipment ending it was time to enter the age of deception.
“My chemistry teacher will kill me, but it wasn’t a particularly intense lecture that day,” said Leahy, now in his second year at the University of New Hampshire.
“I started with white pads and then it dawned on me to put mesh on it. I sketched it on the computer and then I got actual mesh images and it looked even better.”
from George Malik of Snapshots,
The Hockey News’s Rory Boylen “subbed” for Adam Proteau during Friday’s “Ask Adam” column, and he duly noted that the vast majority of hockey fans have forgotten that the NHL’s goaltenders will sport slimmed-down looks this fall as the league is introducing a rule in which goaltenders must wear more “form-fitting equipment”:
from Wayne Karl at TSN,
Some of the most popular helmets among NHLers comprise a basic plastic shell and thin white vinyl nitrate padding –far from the best protection, and have been around for years.
“At the pro level, we see a lot of what we would call an entry level price point helmet,” says Wes Huether, director of training and operations support at Pro Hockey Life, a major Canadian hockey specialty retailer. “A lot is driven by fashion – the mirror test. The lighter weight, smaller, thinner liner helmets, super comfortable, real nice fit, but certainly not front notch when it comes to protection.”
Some critics argue that manufacturers have not done enough to introduce new helmet technology in recent years. But in reality, all of the major suppliers have made it a priority. Innovations include the use of expanded polypropylene padding, a higher energy impact-absorbing material to replace thin vinyl liners, combined with comfort foams and improved shell designs.
“Helmet technology has certainly come a long way in the last three to five years,” says Huether. “Manufacturers are focusing on what’s going on inside the helmet, trying different types of liners and padding, different technologies.”
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.
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