Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/31/13 at 09:18 AM ET
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
The only thing shocking about the edict is how long it took for the Flames and various other clubs to start instituting a simple policy aimed at protecting multi-million dollar assets from an injury bound to occur over time given the demand on shot-blocking.
“If it doesn’t affect your game, I don’t see why you wouldn’t wear them — especially when you see two teammates go down like that,” said Flames veteran Matt Stajan, who, for one, can vouch for the fact the new wardrobe rules didn’t come too late. “It’s common sense.
“I honestly put them on last game for the first time in my career, and a Mike Green one-timer from the point caught me right on the inside of the foot. I felt it through the shot-blocker, and I was stiff the next day, so I’m pretty sure if I didn’t have it on, I would be sitting back on the (injured reserve) with a few of my teammates. It saved me.”
Most players around the league started having the clear plastic caps molded to the shape of their skates two seasons ago, when more of a premium seemed to be put on the art of putting yourself in harm’s way. Some players restricted their use to practices unhappy with the discomfort, weight and restriction of their foot flex because of them. Others, like Flames veteran Curtis Glencross, opted for another custom offering made of Kevlar that has laces over top.
“I got them made at the beginning of the year because if you miss 10 or 15 games, is it worth it for a couple pounds for the two of them or whatever they weigh?” said Glencross, a regular penalty-killer.
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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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