How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

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How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby IanMoran on Thu May 24, 2012 12:26 pm

Played hockey all my life, one thing I've noticed about NHL is how they seem to break their sticks 999 times more than anyone else I've ever seen

Why is this?

Do they tamper with their sticks or something or is it just because everything is so faster (stick speed for slap shots, puck speed maybe for some broken blades, etc)..
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Re: How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby jimjom on Thu May 24, 2012 12:43 pm

I think that players working on their sticks, filing them down, blow torching, taping, etc. is something every NHLer does on an almost ritualistic level (not that I would ever know firsthand). I've often wondered that myself about the breakage issue. Perhaps the endless filing and cutting, exposure to flame and the like comprimises the structural integrity of the stick.

Also, whippy flex patterns not available to the general public may add to the increased breakage as would the speed, pace, and physicality of the game on the professional level.
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Re: How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby interstorm on Thu May 24, 2012 12:52 pm

i never understood why players didn't have special sticks that were used only on the penalty kill. it is horrible seeing a player out there on a 5 on 4 suddenly break their stick and effectively giving the other team a 2 man advantage. i bet that happens (for every team) enough that they lose 1 or 2 games a year because of this (i.e. - close game and this happens...end up losing by a goal).

if i was a coach i would seriously consider having my top PK players use all wooden sticks on the kill. i guess this has to be balanced against short handed opportunities -- but i would still look into it.
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Re: How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby ffemtreed on Thu May 24, 2012 1:06 pm

It because they spend a LOT of time playing and practicing with those sticks now factor in that most of the NHL players are stronger than most rec hockey players and know how to utilize their equipment to the max. Now factor in how much more physical an NHL game is compared to a rec adult game and you will see why players break much more equipment at the NHL level.


I really don't think the modifications are the root of the problem, most of the rec players I played with did the same sort of stuff to their sticks that the pro's do.
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Re: How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby Sheriff66 on Thu May 24, 2012 1:13 pm

A lot has to do with strong grown men using 75 flex sticks
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Re: How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby Matthew Monstar on Thu May 24, 2012 4:18 pm

It really just comes down to the Flex of the stick.

NHL players really push all their weight into their stick to use up all of that repel from the whip in the Flex.

Now imagine you have a 75 flex Shaft and you've just blocked a shot off your stick, The shaft will stay intact until you press weight on it.

More strength, blocked shots and flex all determine the stick's life expectancy.


I once received a penalty after blocking a shot on the PK with my shaft, then I tried to clear the puck and my stick just exploded and the official didn't understand my point that the stick was actually barely hanging on until I pressed a little weight down.


Some guys like Patrick Kane actually use 65- Intermediate flexes
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Re: How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby Matthew Monstar on Thu May 24, 2012 4:20 pm

You'll receive more power with a lighter flex and whippier stick, but you'll always take that risk of snapping your stick from laying too much weight on it or having the shaft weakened by blocking shots.
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Re: How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby no name on Thu May 24, 2012 4:30 pm

These sticks as we all know are ment to bend to add to the whippyness of the stick. To make your shot harder, and the way to take advantage of this is by appling the pressure on a downward motion while following through. So many young players shoot by scraping their sticks just over the surface. If you almost dig your stick downward once that stick releases it shoots the puck so much fast after a few shots like that the stick weakens.
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Re: How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby Gaucho on Thu May 24, 2012 6:17 pm

They play very hard.
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Re: How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby Steve on Thu May 24, 2012 9:27 pm

I can understand on the slapshots - but these things are often breaking after making a pass.
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Re: How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby Matthew Monstar on Thu May 24, 2012 10:08 pm

Steve wrote:I can understand on the slapshots - but these things are often breaking after making a pass.

Sticks are breaking when players pass only because the stick has been damaged on a previous play. Like I said, sometimes the stick will crack without your acknowledgement and once you put pressure on the stick ; to make a pass or take or a shot.... The stick will break and be done! Haha
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Re: How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby SirMario66 on Thu May 24, 2012 11:10 pm

Is dan bylsma's system too hard on the pens sticks???
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Re: How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby Dutchpensfan on Fri May 25, 2012 6:49 am

I thought the sticks were used to be made of wood, and now are made of graphite?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_hockey_stick

Graphite (carbon fiber)
Graphite has become by far the most popular building material for sticks used in the NHL, and it is growing rapidly in popularity for amateur and recreational players. Carbon fiber sticks were originally sold as shafts alone, much like their aluminium counterparts. "One piece" sticks, which consist of a single piece shaft and blade, have become the predominant type.
Carbon fiber sticks have become so popular due primarily to the way they combine features of wooden and aluminium sticks. They offer the classic "feel" and performance of the best wooden varieties, and the manufacturing consistency and precision of aluminium sticks. They can also be manufactured with extraordinarily precise "flex patterns" which can aid in the power and accuracy of wrist and snap shots, and their manufacturing process makes it extremely simple to add any number of different materials and features which can dramatically change the properties of the stick (a good example of this being the silicon injections made in certain high-end sticks that are claimed to further enhance their "feel").
Their main disadvantage is their high cost coupled with their relatively poor durability. While their average life is not quite as short as their wooden counterparts, it is poor enough that competitive senior players will usually break one every week or two, which for an entire team over the course of a season can become extremely expensive. This can be a particularly nasty burden for "nonprofit" competitive teams (such as college hockey teams in the United States), some of whom have begun restricting their players from using the most expensive composite sticks.

so in terms of durability: Wood > Graphite
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Re: How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby owtahear on Fri May 25, 2012 10:17 am

I am old, when I played I used wood, not the composite material of today. Wood was more durable. ALso, while you don't get the flex and whip of the composite material, wood gave you a better "feel" in handling passes.
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Re: How do NHL players break SO many sticks?

Postby JS© on Sun May 27, 2012 7:17 pm

Dutchpensfan wrote:I thought the sticks were used to be made of wood, and now are made of graphite?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_hockey_stick

Graphite (carbon fiber)
Graphite has become by far the most popular building material for sticks used in the NHL, and it is growing rapidly in popularity for amateur and recreational players. Carbon fiber sticks were originally sold as shafts alone, much like their aluminium counterparts. "One piece" sticks, which consist of a single piece shaft and blade, have become the predominant type.
Carbon fiber sticks have become so popular due primarily to the way they combine features of wooden and aluminium sticks. They offer the classic "feel" and performance of the best wooden varieties, and the manufacturing consistency and precision of aluminium sticks. They can also be manufactured with extraordinarily precise "flex patterns" which can aid in the power and accuracy of wrist and snap shots, and their manufacturing process makes it extremely simple to add any number of different materials and features which can dramatically change the properties of the stick (a good example of this being the silicon injections made in certain high-end sticks that are claimed to further enhance their "feel").
Their main disadvantage is their high cost coupled with their relatively poor durability. While their average life is not quite as short as their wooden counterparts, it is poor enough that competitive senior players will usually break one every week or two, which for an entire team over the course of a season can become extremely expensive. This can be a particularly nasty burden for "nonprofit" competitive teams (such as college hockey teams in the United States), some of whom have begun restricting their players from using the most expensive composite sticks.

so in terms of durability: Wood > Graphite




and I think whoever added the bolded has a soft spot for wood sticks. I can see your average NHL player going through a stick about once or twice a month, but a "senior player"?
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