Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/07/14 at 08:46 AM ET
from Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald,
“I’d watch these kids, all knock-kneed — they couldn’t get over their skates properly,” says Crowder. “So I’d grind up some plastic, get some Velcro, hook something onto their skates . . . and get these little improvements.”
Over a span of five years, he customized the gear of countless skaters.
“My brain’s always trying to figure out puzzles . . . it was kind of a game in my head, you know?” Crowder says. “People who know me — people back home — they always knew I was that kind of guy. Thinking outside the box. Looking at things differently.
“The average Joe would just think that I was a tough-guy goon, dragging my knuckles on the ground, right?”
Crowder, though, discovered a niche.
Not all players are created equally — “Someone’s got a thick shin, someone’s got a skinny ankle, someone’s got big bones, someone’s got big heels” — but a boot’s eyelets? Always in the same place.
Crowder’s solution was a skate attachment that permits a customized bend point. Patented as 55 Flex, skate companies and NHL teams quietly took note.
Last winter, he alleviated the lace-bite issues of a certain chap. Aaron Ekblad.
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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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