Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Kris King, the NHL’s senior vice-president of hockey operations, said even though the league and the NHL Players’ Association mandated soft-cap elbow and shoulder pads, with at least half an inch of padding over any hard plastic caps, over the last several years, and reduced the size of the shoulder pads, efforts are continuing to make the shoulder pads smaller yet. The NHL made soft-elbow pads mandatory in 2003 and did the same with shoulder pads for the 2010-11 season. The CHL introduced them this season as part of a strategy to reduce concussions.
King said the NHL’s statistics show the number of concussions from blows by elbows to the head is “enormously reduced” since 2003. However, he said the statistics for those hits plus shoulder hits to the head that result in concussions will not be made public until the NHL’s annual general managers meetings in March.
from Chris Gorski at PHYSORG.com,
Compared with state-of the-art composite materials favored by the other players on the ice, the age-old wooden material dampens the sting of vibrations more effectively, making it simply more comfortable for goalies to wield a wooden stick.
In Flint, Mich., Kettering University undergraduate student Linda Hunt studied the way goalie sticks respond to impacts along with her adviser, Daniel Russell. Presented earlier this month at the meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in San Diego, the project quantified a feeling often expressed by many goalies playing at higher levels….
Most NHL goalies use wooden sticks, officials from the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets said. Hurricanes equipment manager Bob Gorman explained that one of their goalies does use a composite stick, primarily because it weighs less than a wooden one.
The energy of a frozen puck traveling 100 mph is quickly absorbed by the thick padding of a goalie’s leg pads. But the sticks—wooden or composite—are not as forgiving. The puck transfers its energy to the stick, which vibrates violently.
[Please welcome high school hockey coach Dennis Boomer, who kindly tested the Easton Stealth RS and provided his thoughts on the stick for Kukla’s Korner readers.]
As soon as I picked up the stick I noticed how light it was. I prefer a heavy stick, but as I used the Easton Stealth RS, the light weight didn’t bother me as much. Also the shaft has a tacky finish to allow for a better grip, which helps in stick handling and doesn’t interfere with play like other tackified sticks.
But shooting the puck is where the Easton Stealth RS separates itself from other sticks. The wrist shots and snapshots are greatly improved because of the tapering of the shaft. The puck really jumps off the stick blade with far less effort than some of the older sticks.
from the CP at TSN,
Most helmets are designed to do one thing well: Prevent catastrophic head injuries.
And they do.
As for stopping concussions, that’s more of a work in progress.
Hoshizaki said that helmets are constructed to shield players from linear impacts, such as when a player falls backward and smacks his head on the ice.
But his research has shown that most concussions occur through what’s called angular acceleration, where a player suddenly turns into a big hit. That’s what happened to Crosby, who took an abrupt shoulder to the side of the head against Washington on New Year’s Day.
In his next game, Crosby was checked into the boards (more of a linear impact but his brain may have been still recovering, Hoshizaki said).
“Can the helmet do better? Yes,” said Hoshizaki, whose lab tests around 5,000 impacts a year involving football and hockey helmets, along with those used in Alpine skiing. “But they will never prevent concussions, just help decrease the risk of concussions.”
“I understand the players’ association being concerned about guys getting hurt and everything else, but I think the number one problem in this game right now is the head injuries and everybody needs to be in as soft shoulder pads can possibly be designed with still having some relative degree of safety.”
-Bob McKenzie of TSN. More from McKenzie by Nick Murray of The Brunswickan at the Canadian University Press newswire.
As summer draws to a close, Winnipeggers are hungrier than ever for hockey. The chance to host the best in the game has Jets fans salivating – especially those lucky enough to get season tickets.
Down Low Hockey was recently added as an advertising partner on KK, and so you may have noticed this photo (on the right) appearing on the site. Given the nature of the product, we asked the company’s owner and designer, Dave Lewandowski, to answer a few questions for us.
Can you tell us how the company got started?
I designed the shoulder pads for my senior project while majoring in Industrial Design at Wentworth Institute of Design in Boston. The response to the pads was received so well that I decided to start Down Low Hockey and get the pads manufactured.
A dislocated shoulder gave me the inspiration to design a better pair of shoulder pads since I switched from small shoulder pads to big bulky pads after the injury.
M.I.T Ph.D. economics student, Pascual Restrepo, has reached out to us asking for a little help. He has been testing the effect of different types of facial protection on performance and playing style, having constructed a huge dataset of players’ statistics and visor usage, but he still has a few questions.
The only thing missing [from] my research are important dates when different leagues made visors, helmets or cages mandatory and if there were any grandfather clauses or age requirements (for example, the NHL made helmets mandatory in 1979 with a grandfather clause that allowed veteran players to keep playing without one).
In particular I am trying to find the regulatory history (with respect to visors, mostly, but also cages or helmets) of the following leagues: Swiss, Sweden, German, British, Russian or KHL, Denmark, Finland, Czech or any other European league, LNAH, WCHL, WPHL, USHL, and NAHL, and Canadian or US minor and junior leagues.
Can anyone provide answers to Pascual’s questions, or links to some definitive areas to accurately source this information?
Your help would be hugely appreciated, and Pascuel pledges to publish his data and preliminary results here on Kukla’s Korner when his research is complete.
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 email@example.com