Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 09/18/06 at 05:54 AM ET
On Thursday, the NHL approved a rule change that increases the maximum curvature for players' stick blades to three-quarters of an inch, up from the traditional half inch. Although it may not sound like much, Ovechkin predicts it will give him and other Europeans an edge. They grew up playing under International Ice Hockey Federation rules, which permit a curve close to the NHL's new standard. (The IIHF measures in centimeters.) "You will see this season when my new sticks come," Ovechkin said, grinning mischievously.
"It will help me, for sure," Ovechkin said at Ashburn Ice House, where the Capitals are holding their training camp. "Last year I played with a normal stick, maybe just a little bit [illegal]. Now it will be [curved] how I like it."continued
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