Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
...I also talked to Kings head equipment manager Darren Granger and Terry Murray about the new socks, which the Kings have been wearing for approximately 10 days.
Question: How many players are wearing the new socks? Is it an optional thing for them?
GRANGER: “Obviously, it’s their decision about what they want to do. I think we have five right now. We had one player that was pretty exposed, where he was vulnerable to be cut, so he was sort of the reason it got started. That and, obviously, the injuries around the league. It’s been something that we’ve been trying to find for a couple years now, and now we’ve finally got a couple companies making them.”
Question: What does the sock do for them? It prevents them from being cut, right?
GRANGER: “The yellow part that you see is Kevlar, which is cut-resistant. Obviously if it’s punctured, like a stabbing motion, it’s going to go right through it. But what we’re trying to do is reduce the slashing of the skate, or like Cam Ward’s injury, where somebody slides into you, that type of thing….
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
Had Kevin Bieksa been wearing a protective Kevlar sock, the Vancouver Canucks defenceman may not have been sidelined three months after two tendons in his left ankle were severed Dec. 29 at Phoenix from a skate cut. Products are being marketed that feature a Kevlar lining knit inside a sports-mesh polyester outer shell to make socks cut-resistant, but something seems lost in translation as to how it can be adopted as regular equipment sooner rather than later.
Reebok is the official equipment supplier to the NHL and players must wear its items as part of the agreement. But what’s to stop a player from donning a Kevlar sock under mandated equipment — and not exposing a competing company’s logo — until the league and the Players’ Association make Kevlar socks mandatory?
Knock at the door today, delivery for Mr. Kukla. Open the box and a beautiful pair of shoes courtesy of Reebok.
Who knew they made a Winter Classic Shoe, and the perfect size too?
See another image below…
from Gare Joyce of Sportsnet,
Following the career paths of those named to the world juniors pales to following those who get cut….
Back in the mid-90s Dan Cleary was a heckuva talent at 15 and 16, and if somebody told me that he’d never play at the under-20s I would have wagered significant body parts against it. But Cleary was cut three times. My memory of him walking through the lobby after one of the cuts and it looked like he didn’t want anything to do with the game anymore. Yeah, top prospects have to become resilient to make it as pros but that’s stuff down the line….
I remember Mike Comrie and Matt Zultek tearing it up in the last exhibition game on the eve of the cut and yet they still got the early wake-up call. “Sour” doesn’t start to describe their reaction. Comrie has gone on to a pretty decent NHL career, although not one distinguished by team success and not one endorsed by the love of his team-mates….
Washington Capitals Equipment Manager Brock Myles talks undergarments.
from the Vancouver Province,
When last the NHL general managers met, they discussed the issue of player equipment and one of the points on the agenda was suggested by Sharks general manager Doug Wilson.
When first it was learned the league was discussing Wilson’s suggestion, the media were claiming the NHL initiative was moving toward players buying their own equipment, and it came off as though the owners were somehow cheaping out, looking to offload an expense.
Anyone who knows Wilson knew that couldn’t be the case unless his owners had gotten to him, as he has always been one of the chief advocates for the players both as a GM and earlier when he worked for the NHLPA after his retirement as a player.
What Wilson was trying to suggest is that if the NHL teams are going to be paying for the player’s equipment, they should have some input in what they were wearing.
from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,
Kris King, the NHL’s senior director of hockey operations, had what at first appears to be an odd looking piece of equipment on his desk in Toronto this week.
It’s a clear, plastic shield, shaped like a skate boot, complete with lace holes and Velcro fasteners. The function is obvious: To help prevent foot injuries.
The shield is one of several new innovations surfacing as the pro game deals with a rash of injuries that are claiming star players.
King, as he always does with new equipment developments, will give the shield careful consideration. He’s not out to endorse it, just clear it so players and executives can be assured the shield is functional, but won’t radically alter the game.
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
How amazing is it that a high-school dropout would have the ingenuity and foresight to invent the coolest and most important piece of machinery the sport of ice hockey ever has seen?
So goes the story of Frank Zamboni, the kid raised in Pocatello, Idaho, who was so sick and tired of watching workers manually resurface the ice with shovels and squeegees that he set out to do something about it.
It wasn’t long after he opened an outdoor skating rink in Paramount, Calif., in 1940 that Zamboni began designing a machine that would turn a three-man, 90-minute endeavor into a one-man, 10-minute job.
In 1949, he got his first single-operator resurfacer working and was granted a patent based on the design of the Model A, the world’s first self-propelled ice resurfacing machine. The unit never was used on any ice surface other than his skating rink at Paramount’s Iceland.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
There are a number of NHL players currently wearing soft-capped shoulder pads. If NHL general managers have their way, these shoulder pads will be mandatory next season.
Kris King, the NHL’s VP of hockey operations has been overseeing the initiative for five years and is in the process of finalizing guidelines for manufacturers with the goal of outfitting all NHL players in time for the 2010-11 season.
Atlanta Thrashers Equipment Managers Bobby Stewart & Joe Guilmet explain some of the protective equipment players wear.
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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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