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Old 04-23-2003, 08:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
Composite Compost - Breaking Sticks

Lately, NHL players have opted to switch over to the newer, more expensive composite hockey sticks (at about $200 a pop). When compared to the standard wooden stick, composite sticks provide players with an extra 'snap', allowing them to fire the puck at even greater velocities than before.

However, this blessing comes with large downside. Composite sticks are much weaker than their wooden counterparts, so they break much easier. This can disasterous at crucial moments in the game, as was shown many times in in Game 7 of the Vancouver vs. St.Louis series. It got to the point where the CBC Sports announcer called them "useless" and "composite compost".

On top of that, there's the added disadvantage of all the litter that's strewn about on the ice. Passes made by the players may never reach their intended targets, ruining a perfect scoring opportunity.

And of course, once a stick is broken, your team is essentially down by half a man, or a full man if he decides to return to the bench to get another stick.

Now, the new sticks don't <B>always</B> break. They just have a higher risk of breaking. So, my question is, given all these disadvantages, would you choose a composite stick over a wooden one, if only to get that extra little zing on your slapshot, or would you play it safe, and keep the wooden stick?


Note:

I shoud also point out that some goaltenders have begun lobbying to have the sticks banned, citing the extra fast slapshots are a risk to goalies. This has prompted the the NHL Saftey Review Board to study the risks involved with composite sticks come this July. So, by then, this whole discussion might be a moot point.
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Old 04-23-2003, 08:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Pa, USA
On a local sports show here (Daily News Live) one of the guests mentioned composite sticks breaking in half, as opposed to closer to the blade, like wooden sticks.

I don't play hockey myself, but I do follow it, and I found it interesting to hear both sides of the composite stick debate.
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Old 04-23-2003, 08:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
spurt king
 
Location: Out of my mind
It was quiet an issue in the Wild AVS game also. More on defensive plays than on hard shots so it would seem wise to keep the sticks away from defencemen.

There are light wieght wooden sticks and wooden sticks that have plenty of flex to create a snap/slap shot.
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Old 04-24-2003, 09:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Wherever I am!
I play Hockey and use a Composite shaft with a wooden blade. I find the shafts are great. you get the same feel day in day out from your stick. the only risk is in breaking a blade. the newer sticks are one piece. The major problem with these sticks comes when playing D. A blocked shot off the shaft can and does quite often put a crack in the shaft. It may not break the next use but it will break.
The NHL players are much bigger and stronger than most recreactional hockey player and thus they tend to torque their sticks while shooting much more than you or I. Thus more breakage than if you went to a rec. game. I am not sure whether this clears anything up for you.
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