Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
Adam Proteau of The Hockey News answers some emails,,,
Hi Adam. I have noticed that there seems to be an abnormal amount of sticks breaking this year. Not just from slashing, but from players taking shots, passing and taking passes etc. Unreal!
Is this situation being studied or is my imagination running wild?
The shattering stick epidemic has been around for as long as composite sticks have. And since wooden sticks are all but extinct among NHL players, I’m afraid fans will be stuck watching players fumble around sheepishly after their sticks explode for a long time to come.
Personally, I hope a composite stick breaks at a crucial juncture of Game 7 of the Cup final. If enough fans and teams were sufficiently disappointed and incensed, the stick industry might have to seriously consider alternatives. But right now, the status quo will remain in place.
more questions & answers…
A major hockey gear manufacturer and a national safety standards agency are being sued by a Victoria, B.C., family whose son suffered a severe brain injury during a midget hockey game.
Sucha and Cindy More allege the Bauer Nike helmet their son Darren, then 17, was wearing should have protected him against his injury and are seeking $10 million in damages to help care for him.
Darren was hip-checked and flew into the boards during a game in nearby Esquimalt in 2004. He struck the back of his head and fell into a six-week coma.
The Mores’s lawyer, James Macaulay, says six years later Darren still suffers from physical and emotional disabilities and needs 24-hour supervision.
from Wayne Karl at TSN,
TSN hockey analyst Pierre McGuire emphatically proclaimed – in an oft-repeated on air clip - that they “stink! Get rid of them!” and Martin Brodeur once said, “they should be illegal.”
Ten years later, the one-piece composite hockey stick is anything but outlawed – it has been embraced as the weapon of choice by almost all NHL players, and is one of the most significant success stories in the hockey business in decades.
All from a rather quiet introduction in the second half of the 1999-2000 season when Easton Hockey convinced then-New Jersey Devils rookie Scott Gomez to be the first NHLer to use “the most technologically advanced stick ever,” the Synergy.
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
There’s no denying Duncan Keith’s play has dropped off since before the Olympic break.
Keith is minus-7 in the last 13 games, eight of which the Blackhawks have lost.
While Keith is not one to make excuses, the all-star defenseman did admit Monday he has not been happy with his skates since before leaving for the Olympics.
Skating is a huge part of Keith’s game and there isn’t a Hawk more particular about his skates and how they fit and feel and how they are sharpened.
Whereas Keith normally goes through three or four pairs of skates in a season, he said he already is on his ninth or 10th pair with the issue still not resolved to his liking.
Product testers at Reebok-CCM tell us about the importance of testing their equipment, and how it is done.
Bauer Hockey Corp. is recalling 13 models of junior hockey sticks due to excessive lead levels in the sticks’ paint
from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,
The Let’s Play Hockey Show took place at the MGM Grand Casino this week and while the emphasis was naturally on companies making deals, the sport itself will stand to benefit from some of the products being pitched.
Naturally, concussions were covered off in a variety of ways and companies are really bringing the science.
TapouT mouthguards – associated with mixed martial arts, but invented for all contact sports such as hockey and football – was pitching its product based on a patented technology that allows wearers to re-boil their mouthguard. This is especially important for players with braces, since frequent tightenings at the orthodontist shift the structure of the mouth.
Ray Thill,Tampa Bay Lightning Equipment Manager, discusses the protective gear players wear.
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….
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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