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The Malik Report

Yes, both goalies and players’ gear need to be tweaked, but going too far is literally dangerous

Sportsnet's Mark Spector had a conversation with NHLPA special assistant to the executive director and competition committee member Mathieu Schneider about attempts to reduce the number of blocked shots and re-tweak goaltending equipment to increase scroring, and while I'm no fan of the fact that John Tortorella's mandate that each and every member of the New York Rangers block shots, to the point that the Rangers' equipment staff worked with equipment manufacturers to place composite shot-blocking protectors on the backhand of every player's hockey gloves...

The question of decreasing protective equipment is always a delicate one. Sure, as Spector and Schneider note, Gregory Campbell being called a hero for breaking his leg blocking a shot is...Let's say there's a fine line between heroism and stupidity in hockey...

Do the NHL, the NHLPA, the competition committee and the players really want to expose players who are wearing "skate fenders" because they're also wearing skates purposefully designed not to block shots, but to be as light as possible, to broken feet if a shot comes their way, lest the player deliberately turn his foot to block a shot, as he's probably been coached to do since he was in junior hockey?

Do we want to see goaltenders suffer broken clavicles and sternums because chest protectors being "too bulky" almost automatically yields a player saying, "Well, a police officer can wear a bulletproof vest that conforms to his body," ignoring the concept that ONE bullet impact tends to result in at least significant bruising and, in many cases, broken bones or minor organ damage?

Here's what the pair have to say about Campbell and the proliference of shot-blocking:

"This is something that we’ve really neglected to look at,” Schneider, special assistant to the executive director for the NHLPA, said of the shot-blocking trend that has captivated today’s NHL. “Maybe six years ago, Bob Gainey suggested that we need to stop allowing players to leave their feet to block shots. Everyone looked at him like he had three heads.”

As these two Original Six clubs meet to contend in what should be a dandy Stanley Cup final, a popular vignette will be of Gregory Campbell’s heroic PK work versus Pittsburgh, limping around the defensive zone after blocking an Evgeni Malkin shot during a penalty kill. He would leave the ice and now his season is over; his right fibula was broken on that shot block.

Campbell truly embodies everything we love about our hockey players. But does it also exemplify an area of the game that needs changing?

“Go back 10, 11 years,” Schneider said. “It was discouraged to go down on one knee to block a shot. I’m watching guys dive head first in front of shots now. Look at the (New York) Rangers lineup. You’ve got five guys making kick saves. They’ve got extra equipment on their skates, on their gloves … Essentially, what we’ve done is given guys equipment so they can safely block shots with any area of their body.”

I'll also readily admit that, when the competition committee decided to crack down on what have become six to eight inches of high-density foams and plastics sticking up from goalies' knees, to the point that guys' pads have to fold in so that rock-hard thigh rises don't trip the goalies sporting them, I not only applauded the decision as a goaltender, but was also stunned when InGoal Magazine's Kevin Woodley revealed that goalie consultant and former Giguere-puffy-shirt-coaching Francois Allaire had helped develop composite knee pads that would both render thigh rises redundant and, even if goalies' "landing gear" were reduced, all but bring us back to the pre-lockout era of "thigh boards" blocking out a goalie's 5-hole...

But when people like Schneider suggest that goaltenders should be able to deal with the concussive force of hundreds of six-ounce frozen rubber pucks heading toward their bodies in excess of 70 or 80 miles an hour with form-fitting equipment, that scares the hell out of me:

“We can develop all these materials that are bulletproof, and yet we say we need these huge chest protectors? And shoulder pads that go up underneath the cross bar?” he said. “I think we have a lot of people in the right mindset that we can get this thing done. I think it’s not just media and fans that have said enough is enough. It’s a lot of players and former players now.”

Former NHL goalie Glenn Healy is on board.

“You’re talking to a guy who couldn’t get through the gate at the Montreal Forum, because his pads were too big, OK?” he laughs. “Maybe the formula, with regards to how big the pads can be … can now be re-tweaked, and re-jigged. Let’s come up with a better mouse trap.”

I have no problem with the concept of rounding off all the damn square "blocks" and "floaters" that exist on elbows, shoulders and bellies, and I don't advocate goalies wearing their gear in such a manner as to allow it to "blossom" outward from their bodies in their stances...But those layers are needed, especially in the shoulders.

If a puck hits you in the sternum or shoulder, even if you're wearing a big, bulky chest protector, you get a welt and you can collapse in pain because it hurts. Pucks have that much energy and we are simply not at a point where the concussive force of a puck can be contained in bulletproof vest-style equipment.

We don't have that technology, plain and simple.

Goalie pants can also be sized more form-fittingly and rounded, but asking goalies to wear hockey pants with fewer layers of protection is a recipe for broken thighs and hips.

While I'm all for shrinking those thigh rises, do you want to know why goalies aren't wearing 10-inch-wide pads? Because the NHL tested those at the conclusion of the lockout, and the goalies who tested them found that that going from 12-inch-wide pads to 11-inch-wide pads was tolerable (though sacrificing that inch yielded dozens of groin and hip injuries during the first two years of pad implementation because that inch changed the mechanics of bodies dropping into butterfly position, placing more stress on groins and hips and knees)...

The goalies' legs would slide out of the 10-inch-wide pads, and if their legs bent or twisted in certain ways, they'd find their thighs and calves exposed to shots.

Can you round off the "blocks" on the vertical roll? Yep. But shrinking pads any further in terms of width is dangerous.

And in terms of goalies' hands?

Goalies like Ryan Miller and Nikolai Khabibulin boast screws and plates in their thumbs and index fingers from the reduction in blocker size from 16"x12" or 16"x10" to 15"x8"--which, in 2005, was the size of an "intermediate" or teenager's blocker--and again, while it's possible to trim some of the bulk off of what have become "side boards" that are as large and stiff as the frontal face of the blocker, eliminating them would result in a spate of broken thumbs and wrists.

Chris Osgood and other goalies who once used gigantic catch gloves also have broken wrists and hands to tell you what happened when those massive 52" and 50"-inch perimeter gloves were first reduced to 48" and then 45," At least at the professional level, the concept of reducing a goaltending glove's perimeter to 42 or 43 inches is downright dangerous.

Reduce the size of the "pocket" and tee-trap? Sure, that can be done. But when you're not only stopping pucks but also are stopping players running into and over your hands, the NHL's basically reached the maximum in terms of what it can do to reduce the size of the gear covering players' hands.

Put bluntly, there are places to tweak the "mousetraps" for both players and goalies, but suggesting that simply removing equipment completely from the protective choices available to forwards and defensemen who've been taught to place their limbs in harm's way, or to suggest that goaltenders need nothing more than "bulletproof vests" or child-sized equipment...Doesn't take into account the real dangers that players face, nor the fact that for every Allaire trying to keep ahead of the standards and give his goaltending pupils an unfair advantage, or every Tortorella that's decided to ensure that his players can essentially wear blockers on their hands...

You can't simply say, "Well, because we don't like that style of hockey, we're going to have to accept that there will be some Gregory Campbells along the way."

That's just as dangerous as making the conscious decision to play on a broken leg, and far less "noble."

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Comments

Vladimir16's avatar

As The Great One has said more than once: reduce the size of all the equipment AND use wood sticks only. He also has said it will probably never happen.
The NHL can pretty much do whatever the fack they want so why don’t they try this in the AHL. Nobody gives two shits aboot the AHL (except me and a couple thousand other fans) and its a good test market.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/11/13 at 09:45 PM ET

RW19's avatar

Vladdy is bang on: hockey sticks should be made of wood only. That should be the starting point for controlling equipment. Hockey is a game based on skill and speed but most of the ‘innovations’ in the game for the past 30 years have been designed to stifle skill and speed. Bettman loves it cause it helps with his dream of parity but seriously, it’s killing the game.

Posted by RW19 on 06/11/13 at 10:27 PM ET

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I don’t necessarily agree with your argument George, but if you want status quo on goalie gear, then I think you have to have nets that are 6.5’ x 4.5’ as a start.  International sized rinks would be nice as well.

Posted by akwingsfan on 06/11/13 at 11:35 PM ET

Primis's avatar

“Maybe six years ago, Bob Gainey suggested that we need to stop allowing players to leave their feet to block shots. Everyone looked at him like he had three heads.”

I absolutely 100% remember this, and that was exactly the reaction the idea got.  I don’t know that it was that long ago though?  Maybe 3 or 4 years?...


RE: goalies… let them keep their padding, but take away their trapper and make them play with two blockers, a la Dan Blackburn.

You keep the clock moving, you keep play alive, you potentially increase scoring w/ rebounds… there’s a lot to like there.  It’s radical, but it also isn’t putting goalies in more danger with less padding/equipment.

Posted by Primis on 06/11/13 at 11:50 PM ET

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If you reduce the size of goalies’ equipment, then you have to take away some of what the players use to get whatever advantage they can on the ice, starting with those elbow pads that concuss when they make contact with the head. Then go to those extra pieces that protect the players when they attempt to block shots in their gloves and skates. Take those away and see if they’d be willing to block the shots they block now. Wood sticks would be nice but that’s never gonna happen.  Make the game fair for everyone on the ice, not just the players.

Posted by ryanloral on 06/12/13 at 12:06 AM ET

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I have to disagree with some of this George. The last pads I used measured 10 1/2 inches across at the knee and I never had any issues like what you were speaking of. I also have to say that anything called a “cheater” should be removed, resculpted, whatever. My first glove didn’t have a cheater and I was so stoked to get one that had a cheater because I knew what it did, it cut down the amount of area the shooter had to score, it certainly did nothing to protect me. The chest protectors are very important, and i don’t know the latest models, but I remember taking shots off the collar bone or shoulder and being in pain for weeks at times. The tops of the pads are ridiculous, even the least offending members of the clan still are really pushing the limits. The only plus side is that with the rises being as large as they are, it limits mobility and can create goals that way, as seen by some such as Luongo whose mobility is a complete joke due to the size of his pads.

Posted by tbuhg on 06/12/13 at 01:19 AM ET

Hank1974's avatar

Thank-you tbuhg!!!
It’s refreshing to hear a goalie actually admit that a lot of the changes in pads are for cheating and not protecting.

Regarding the players equipment, it’s simple. Make leaving your feet to block a shot or pass illegal. Done.
I think it’s ridiculous that players are now wearing composite over their entire bodies to block more shots. (On the backhand of players gloves??? Are you kidding me???).

ryanloral, I have no problems with what you’re suggesting either.
Shrink the goalie gear and outlaw composite sticks.
I hate them anyway. How many times do you see one blowing up for no reason? Or passes bounce off of them like they hit a spring board?

Ken Dryden gear and wood sticks = much better hockey.

Posted by Hank1974 on 06/12/13 at 08:44 AM ET

Hank1974's avatar

Pucks have that much energy and we are simply not at a point where the concussive force of a puck can be contained in bulletproof vest-style equipment.

We don’t have that technology, plain and simple.

Wrong George. I have a good friend that works for a TOP goalie manufacturer and he said the technology IS there.
But he, like most manufacturers, would never ever admit it to anyone associated with pro hockey (media, coaches, etc).
Why? Imagine if the CEO of Vaughn came out and said that they can make equipment that’s form fitting and just as protective. Do you really think any goalie (pro or amateur) would ever support Vaughn again?
Why would they? They just told the world that goalies can wear equipment that not only protects but will surely blow up their GAA and shrink their SV%.
I’m sure they couldn’t wait to get on board with that.

And remember, Al Iafrate shot over 100MPH back in his day and the goalies wore nothing but beefed-up back-catchers chest protectors.
There is absolutely no reason for goalies to be as plumped out as they are.
And the technology is there to support slimmer, form fitting equipment and still provide the same level of protection as today’s.

But to play devils advocate, if the shoulders and collarbones are the only things to worry about, then why not give all goalies slim gear, but add just a touch extra around the shoulder area?

The only people who refuse to believe today’s goalie gear is more to cheat than to protect is either a goalie themselves or ignorant.

Posted by Hank1974 on 06/12/13 at 08:53 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

starting with those elbow pads that concuss when they make contact with the head

the elbow pads don’t concuss.  force concusses.  force is transferred elbow pads or not.  a concussion is not caused by impact, it is caused by sudden movement of the head - the brain has its own inertia and “bounces” around inside the skull.

think of it like you are your brain, and your car is the skull.  when your car stops very quickly, your body continues moving and into the windshield you go (assuming no seatbelt).  it doesn’t matter what your car crashes into - a brick wall or a giant marshmallow…if the car rapidly changes speed or direction, you move around inside the car.

same with the brain.  if the skull rapidly changes speed or direction, the brain moves around inside of it and a concussion can result…it doesn’t matter what caused the changed in speed/direction.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/12/13 at 01:04 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

I agree PaulinMiamiBeach.
But what if that elbow pad had as much padding as they did in 1975?
Your elbow would be cracked in two if you tried to deliver one to someone’s head.

So in that respect, with less hard plastic, fewer players would be willing to throw their elbows or shoulders at players heads.
Guys like Dustin Brown, Raffi Torres, etc would be on the DL for great portions of the season with separated shoulders and cracked elbows.

Posted by Hank1974 on 06/12/13 at 01:09 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/12/13 at 01:04 PM ET

Posted by Hank1974 on 06/12/13 at 01:09 PM ET

I’m in agreement with this entire dialog. Though, I would like to add to the hard v soft pad discussion: the force is transferred to the target in a more direct nature with the hard shells; where the soft shells would distribute the force of the impact on the target. Softer shells would help to reduce the player on player injuries, but maybe not the player vs ice or wall injuries. The employment strategy of the current padding systems is for the hard shell to absorb the force of impact and the cushion underneath to distribute that impact over a larger area for the wearer. The opposite is true for the outside target where the force of impact is concentrated to the point of impact which can create the jarring effect to produce a concussion. The key is for the padding to provide the same level of protection (absorption) for both the wearer and the target.

I kinda rambled, but I think it makes sense (my point).

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/12/13 at 01:44 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

SnLO, you’re right.
I forgot to mention the argument for when boxers load their gloves with hard objects.
Just look at Felix Trinidad and Antonio Margarito.
Trinidad destroyed careers with his loaded gloves, as did Margarito.

As soon as they were found out to be cheats and could no longer alter their wraps illegally, they didn’t have the same stopping power they once did.

Posted by Hank1974 on 06/12/13 at 02:14 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

the force is transferred to the target in a more direct nature with the hard shells; where the soft shells would distribute the force of the impact on the target.

distribution of the force on the surface is irrelevant.  the change in speed/direction of the head is essentially the same.  the only way any meaningful difference could be achieved is if the padding were really thick, inches and inches thick, so that the head slows down gradually after contact.  basically, think sumo suits.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/12/13 at 02:45 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

btw, I do agree with Hank on what I call the “Mickey Redmond” hypothesis: making the player who THROWS the hit more vulnerable will go farther toward solving the problem than trying to protect the player receiving the hit.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/12/13 at 02:46 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

I forgot to mention the argument for when boxers load their gloves with hard objects.
Just look at Felix Trinidad and Antonio Margarito.
Trinidad destroyed careers with his loaded gloves, as did Margarito.

that is to add weight, which adds inertia, which increases the force imparted to the opponent.

heavier boxing gloves are WORSE to get hit with than lighter ones.  it’s why MMA uses the much smaller gloves.  it’s enough to protect the hands, but the amount of energy directed at the opponent is much less.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/12/13 at 02:47 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

PauliinMiamiBeach, you make some good points, but in the end, I think for the betterment of the game, the equipment for both skaters and goalies needs to be revisited.

Things are getting out of control. Teams basically have 6 goalies on the ice, with one of them being the size of King Kong.

There needs to be some changes. If equipment can’t be altered, then make leaving both feet to block a shot or pass illegal and shrink the goal pipes to 1” in diameter.
With the amount of posts being hit, that could translate to 1 or 2 more goals per game.
7.5 GPG is perfect in my opinion.

Posted by Hank1974 on 06/12/13 at 02:51 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

that is to add weight, which adds inertia, which increases the force imparted to the opponent.

heavier boxing gloves are WORSE to get hit with than lighter ones.  it’s why MMA uses the much smaller gloves.  it’s enough to protect the hands, but the amount of energy directed at the opponent is much less.

Would you rather be punched in the head with a hard plastic glove, or soft glove?

Regardless, the point is moot.
Having less protection means players can’t be so reckless with their elbows and shoulders.
It also means less blocked shots and a larger scoring area to put the puck in the net.
I can’t see anything negative about that.

Posted by Hank1974 on 06/12/13 at 02:55 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

distribution of the force on the surface is irrelevant.  the change in speed/direction of the head is essentially the same.

yes and no. Though you are correct in the macro of the cause of concussion, people have received concussions from a punch or other blow to the head. Just in that short / small impact is the process necessary from which concussions are produced (”sudden movement of the head - the brain has its own inertia and “bounces” around inside the skull”) So it is entirely feasible for the conditions necessary to cause a concussion be initiated from an elbow or shoulder and the force of impact exacerbated by the hard shell and the speed of play.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/12/13 at 03:03 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Would you rather be punched in the head with a hard plastic glove, or soft glove?

am I wearing a helmet, like hockey players are?  because if I am, I want to be hit with the lighter glove.  the surface material doesn’t matter unless it’s directly contacting my skin.  and if it is directly contacting my skin, the choice is still irrelevant to concussions - it’s relevant to surface pain.

yes it hurts your forehead more to get hit in the head with a hard plastic glove than a soft glove, but that pain is surface pain and irrelevant to what happens to your brain inside your skull.  concussions are about energy transfer, and quick change of direction/speed of the skull and brain.  they have nothing to do with the REASON for the change of direction/speed.

the amount of padding needed on a glove or elbow pad to actually reduce the effect of the blow and reduce concussions would make the pad prohibitively restrictive to wear.

ironically, the actual solution IMO is this…

this is one of those “why in the hell didn’t anyone think of this sooner” kind of things.

to reduce concussions, you have to make the change in speed/direction of the skull more gradual.  which is basically only accomplished by thick padding.  adding padding on the outside of the helmet essentially doubles the thickness of the padding without making the helmet itself unwieldy to wear like it would if you doubled the thickness of the padding inside the hard plastic.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/12/13 at 03:11 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

people have received concussions from a punch or other blow to the head

yes, because it causes the head to quickly change direction or velocity, resulting in the brain hitting the skull like a car passenger hitting the windshield of a stopping car.

having padding vs no padding is irrelevant.  in fact, you have less chance of getting a concussion from being punched in the head by a bare fist than someone wearing a boxing glove…because the boxing glove adds mass, and therefore inertia, and therefore the kinetic energy is larger.

of course, that is within certain limits because as you increase the weight of the glove it makes it harder to punch with.  I’m talking about realistic weights and masses, so don’t come back with “if it’s a 75 pound boxing glove they can’t hit you very hard” because that’s not realistic.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/12/13 at 03:14 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

and again, in case it gets lost in my long-winded physics diatribes…

I do agree that reducing the protection of the player who is THROWING the hit is a very effective solution to the problem.

rather than ask if I’d rather get elbowed in the head by a hard plastic covered elbow pad or a padded one, ask if I’d rather elbow someone in the head while wearing and elbow pad vs not wearing one.

if it’s going to hurt ME to hit you in the head, I’m not going to do it.  if it MIGHT hurt YOU but it DEFINITELY won’t hurt ME, you’re getting smoked.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/12/13 at 03:17 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

you have less chance of getting a concussion from being punched in the head by a bare fist than someone wearing a boxing glove…because the boxing glove adds mass, and therefore inertia, and therefore the kinetic energy is larger.

In practicality you are correct with this assertion, but what I see not being taken into account is the marginal increase in mass due the boxing glove essentially being a pad. The more dense the pad, the more mass, thus the greater inertia. At the point it no longer becomes a pad and is a hard shell (provided volume remains constant), the inertia is much greater than if a soft pad (which still greater in mass than a bare surface). So a hard pad creates more inertia than a soft pad and the greater the inerita for the incoming (fist), more likely over-powering the inertia on the receiving (head), potentially resulting in the brain going one way and the skull another (even if momentarily just an inch or two).

We are in agreement overall, just a minor difference of opinion on the severity of a contributing factor.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/12/13 at 03:46 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

So a hard pad creates more inertia than a soft pad

the only thing that affects inertia is mass and velocity.  material composition is irrelevant.  the point to a soft pad is so that the energy isn’t transferred as quickly.  basically the amount of time it takes the pad to “squish” increases the amount of time it takes for the energy to transfer.  think of a goalie’s leg pads.  they’re really thick to absorb the force. the problem with this is that to make any real difference, the pads would have to be so thick as to be unmanageable as elbow pads, helmet, etc.

I have a probably ridiculous and completely absurd techie geek solution.

make it so that the uniforms, helmets, elbow pads etc all have electrical properties and integrated circuits such that if any part of player A’s arm contacts any part of player B’s head, player A is essentially tazed.

grin

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/12/13 at 04:10 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

btw…

We are in agreement overall, just a minor difference of opinion on the severity of a contributing factor.

yup.

I’m just a giant nerd and enjoy discussing and considering these things.

oh, and works sucks…I’m bored hmmm

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/12/13 at 04:11 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

the only thing that affects inertia is mass

yep. I should have been more clear that my model is that by increasing hardness is also increasing mass (rock v styrofoam).

the point to a soft pad is so that the energy isn’t transferred as quickly.  basically the amount of time it takes the pad to “squish” increases the amount of time it takes for the energy to transfer.

this is exactly what I was getting at, and I am also including the absorption of some of that energy by the pad.

oh, and works sucks…I’m bored

ikr but now I’m home cool smile good discussion.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/12/13 at 06:24 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

increasing hardness is also increasing mass (rock v styrofoam).

is that necessarily always true?  isn’t it possible for a hard material to be less dense than a soft material, and therefore have less mass? it wouldn’t be very strong, I suppose.  I still say they should just make all the players wear sumo suits and get it over with.  problem solved, they won’t need refs, and it’ll be hella fun LOL

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/12/13 at 10:12 PM ET

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As The Great One has said more than once: reduce the size of all the equipment AND use wood sticks only.

Problem with this is you now have 2 or 3 generations of players in the league that have never used wood. As such, good defensive play has evolved in such a way that would be dangerous.

Watch Henrik Zetterberg when he’s deployed to shadow a guy. He gives these little whacks on the hands pretty much constantly. With the composites, all that really does is disrupt the puck carrier’s puck control. At worst it stings a bit. Ditch the composite and give him wood and he’ll be breaking hands every game without this possibility even crossing his mind.

He’s not the only guy either. The go to move of every player chasing a carrier on an odd man break is to whack at the stick blade near his fingers. With a composite, that disrupts him. With wood, it can put him on IR.

Also don’t underestimate the problems this would cause among a lot of players due to the difference in flex. Give Alex Semin or Sidney Crosby a wood stick and little to nothing changes for them, because their sticks have little whip.

But Stamkos? Kovalchuk? What happens to their wrists when they really let one go from muscle memory, not thinking that the wood stick doesn’t have the same flex and it doesn’t “give” at all. If it were a stiffer composite, the stick would just snap. If it was wood, I’m wondering if they could break their wrists this way.

Posted by larry on 06/19/13 at 12:31 AM ET

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heavier boxing gloves are WORSE to get hit with than lighter ones.  it’s why MMA uses the much smaller gloves.  it’s enough to protect the hands, but the amount of energy directed at the opponent is much less.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/12/13 at 02:47 PM ET

All of this is totally wrong.

Boxers who want heavier gloves want them to use for blocking and angling toward a decision (Winky Wright, for example). Punchers (Pacquiao, for example) tend to want lighter ones (which have less padding around the knuckles), because the opponent takes more damage from them. The difference in weight is completely wiped out by force absorbed in the extra padding, as well as the fact that it diffuses over a larger area. Should note that sparring gloves (ie, lets try not have any injuries to anyone right now gloves) are 4-8 ounces heavier than the gloves used in prizefights, depending on the guy. And not just the money fighter, either. His sparring partner uses much larger than normal gloves as well.

And MMA uses the gloves they use for a lot of reasons (MMA fighters need finger dexterity, MMA fighters don’t punch hard enough to drop someone with a boxing glove and Dana White thinks concussions “sell”, many many others), but safety is absolutely not one of them. The number of guys who have had permanent eye damage from those gloves is outrageous, but UFC/Pride/whoever didn’t care, don’t care and won’t care, no matter how much pressure they’re under.

Posted by larry on 06/19/13 at 12:59 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.