Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
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.
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