Category Archives: sticks

Jofa vs Titan

You can still buy a Sherwood 5030 PMP in stores today but the Jofa’s and Titan’s of my boyhood days are long gone.  Where do old, unbroken hockey sticks go?

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The New Stick…

…didn’t work.

In fact, I hate it.  The curve is unwieldy and I over-taped the grip slightly.  I fought the puck all night and generally felt like the stick was working against me.  After the game I offered it for sale for $20 to the highest bidder (which makes its cost per game to me well beyond even my worst wooden sticks of years gone by).   However, on leaving the dressing room and having one of the Sedin’s offer to take it off my hands for $20, I waffled and decided I’m too cheap to eat the full-cost-minus-$20 and said I’d like to give it one more game.

Hockey sticks are a funny damn thing.  They just have to feel right and the older I get, the fewer sticks in the stores have that combination of lightness, curve and blade shape that I like.  This thing better feel better by the end of the week or one of the Sedin’s is going to get himself an almost new stick at a great price.

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New Stick, Old Stick

I finally got my new stick ready this weekend but I’m worried.  I had to borrow a neighbour’s hacksaw to cut it down a few inches but when I compared it to my old wand, the curve on the new one just doesn’t seem quite right, the way it did in the store.  The toe curves a bit more than I thought and seems to curl under a bit more than I like.  Maybe it grew this curve out of spite from being forced to sit in the front hall un-used the past three weeks?

I officially put the old stick, a yellow Easton, down after I got the new one all taped up.  It was pretty beat up and gettin’ long in the tooth.  Old yeller’ I guess you could call it.

There was no back o’ the woodshed involved here though.  No, in my case, putting down a stick means relegating it to the corner of the garage where my old sticks go when they hit their end of life.  It’ll stay there for a year or two and then finally get taken to the landfill some Saturday in May when it’s clear to me I’m never going to wish I had kept it in the event I need to press an old stick into emergency action for any reason.

Old sticks get treated a little differently than they did in days gone by.  Built with all these new-fangled fancy materials in lieu of wood, they don’t easily go through the power saw and end up as one-foot lengths that get fed into the fireplace as they did when I was a boy.

I can remember my dad more than once grabbing broken sticks out of the bins as we left the arena after a game which he would then cut up and use in the fireplace.  They were hardwood so didn’t work too well as kindling but they did burn nicely once the fire was going.  If you’ve never warmed yourself after a game by the flames fueled by an old Sherwood 5030 being cremated, you’ve never really lived.

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The Last Goal

I’ve written a couple of posts over the past few weeks about a new stick I bought that I haven’t had time to cut off and get game-ready.   It’s not that takes a bunch of time but my hacksaw is elsewhere and I simply haven’t had time to run to a neighbour’s and borrow one.  However, this weekend promises more time and so it was that when I hit the ice last night, it was a pretty good bet it was the last game I’d play with current stick.  It’s all but broke and a hard pass is tough to take cleanly.  I don’t shoot very hard on my best shots but even I am feeling it being weaker than necessary to get off a clean shot.

Having said that, I was able to snag a pair of greasy rebounds with it last week that I was able to shovel over the line and last night, got a gift early on a loose puck that turned into a breakaway.   Moose guessed right and gave me nothing in the cage so I just fired it hard along the ice on a prayer.  The clinking sound as it hit the back pipe confirmed that this particular stick, although ready for pasture, had found once more hole.  It was a good stick.  An honest stick.  A hard working stick.

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Two Weeks and Counting and New Stick Still Not Game Worthy

Crazy busy at work and my new stick still sits in the front hall awaiting the TLC required to make it game-worthy.   It needs to be cut off a bit and taped up but time has been at a premium and I need a nap first.   Perhaps tomorrow.

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An Unused New Stick…

…is a sign of a too-busy life.  I bought a new bauer two weeks ago today and it’s not only unused so far, it’s still sitting inside the front door at home, a rather rare place for my better half to allow me to leave any piece of hockey equipment, smell or no smell.

One impediment to using is that my hacksaw is offline and I haven’t had time to bother a neighbour / friend for one to borrow.

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The Lie Of Your Stick

Do they even publish this anymore?  When I was a kid, the lie used to be written on the shaft of the stick.  It was just one more cool measure to try and personalize to your style.  “I just cannot get used to a 5 lie.  I keep losing it out the heel.”

I’m sure there was an optimal lie for some of us, but I’m just as sure there wasn’t for some of us too.

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Alternate Uses For A Hockey Stick

This could be a long post but I’ll keep it short.

As I cruised through the garage the other day to grab some wood for the fire we were having, I chuckled when I saw that several years ago I had stacked the wood at the end of the garage using an old beater of a stick wedged between a small shelf and the wood pile so that I could stack the wood higher than it could have been stacked otherwise.

We’ve also used a stick more than once to unclog a laundry shoot that occasionally gets plugged in our old house.  I’ve chased a squirrel out of the house with a stick and there’s been a stick in the backyard for years that I use to shoot old Milo’s fetch ball (our family golden) across the yard to give him exercise.

 

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Choosing Teams Using The-Pile-Of-Sticks Method

I wonder if baseball players in sandlot games have ever made up teams by throwing their gloves in a big pile and then randomly separated them into two piles?  Football?  Hmmm…wouldn’t work there given the lack of a common piece of equipment (assuming helmets aren’t regularly worn for pickup games).  Hoops? Nope, not there either.   Soccer?  Nada.

In hockey though, it is a time-honoured technique to throw all the sticks of those wanting to join a game into a big pile and then split this into two piles.  This was never a  completely arbitrary approach because there were times when the stick-separator was quite aware that the heavily taped Koho 201 was owned by a ringer or his best buddy, or that the beat up toothpick was the weapon of choice of the skinny, slightly-crazed kid who was always better to have on your team, than to be playing against.

However, it did have the benefit of transparency.  It was tough to rig such a vote because everyone at the dance was basically standing there watching the proceedings to see where their stick landed.  If the separator tried to put all the mylec super blades and short shafted sticks on one side, and all the rest on the other, there would be hell to pay for this was stacking one team, pure and simple.

However, this was, and still is, a truly great way to builds team in a hurry.  I remember many days at outdoor rinks on cold winter days or nights where we used this approach.  I remember doing it several times over the course of a few hours because inevitably, players would come and go during the course of a pickup game and teams would get unbalanced.  When things got way out of wack, the hockey players’ collective conscience would kick in, and all the sticks would end up in a pile again for the process to repeat itself.

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Was That A New Stick?

Several years ago, around the time when composite sticks were starting to replace wooden sticks for the recreational player, one of the guys I played with in the local Hi Tech league bought one of these.  In the dressing room before the game, I believe he mentioned to a few people he had bought one.  No big deal.  It was fairly expensive but not an outrageous price for the time.

Very early in the game, this same dude breaks his new stick.  He skates calmly to the bench and because it was near the end of his shift, he comes off and his replacement jumps on and joins the play.  He reaches back for his replacement stick, an old wooden one, and sits down.  Someone on the bench noticed this and says “Hey, did you just break your new composite stick on your very first shift?”

“It wasn’t new,” he deadpanned, “that was my second shift and I had used it the shift before as well.”

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