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Top 5 Hockey Innovations That Missed the Mark

Every sport from baseball to badminton has evolved in some sense since their respective onsets. Rule, size, style, and regulation changes have transformed our sports over the years to what we see today, and a factor that gets altered on a yearly basis is the equipment, hockey is no exception. In fact, hockey equipment has seen so much change over the years it has transformed the game. The size fluctuation in goalie equipment has see the number of 50 goal scorers plummet and hybrid stick designs have made the fastest game on earth even faster. But while we boast loving the fastest game on earth, something else that also may have been moving too fast were a few equipment “innovations” that were fun ideas but, like Esa Tikkanen in the 1998 Stanley Cup finals, unfortunately, just missed the mark.

5. CCM 1052 X-Ray Tacks Hockey Helmet


This was one of those products when you were younger that you saw at your local hockey rink pro shop and said something like “Oh my god these are so sick!” and then your Dad promptly smacked you in the back of the head and told you “We’re only here to sharpen your skates, don’t even think about buying that clown bucket.” You were disappointed at first but then a few months passed and you started to see what kind of players actually had these futuristic transparent rave cages and you secretly thanked the lord you weren’t associated with that crew of fourth line fender benders.

4. The Curtis Curve Goalie Stick, developed by Vic, made popular by Christian

Yeehaw and buckle up as I take you down this winding road of a hockey innovation. Originally developed by Vic, it was made popular by Christian. And by “popular” I mean the design was so unattractive that Vic let their patent on the design expire (along with their relevancy in the hockey world), allowing other companies to use it. Now I was never a goalie because, well, why would I ever choose to do that to myself? But I have read that the design created an awkward stance, limited ease of poke checking, and was harder to create velocity when moving the puck. It’s already weird that you’re a goalie, don’t add to it by using this voodoo black magic wand on top of it, the only place a curve should come into play on a hockey stick should be the blade.

3. BladeTape – Performance Engineered Hockey Tape



At one point I think every young hockey player has given BladeTape a try. It was probably given to you as a token of your participation at the conclusion of a week long camp held by some NHL player that you can’t quite name today. BladeTape was the solution to never having to tape your hockey stick again, which I honestly can’t understand how that idea sounds appealing to any rink rat who laces them up on a regular basis. It has like grooves that fit into the texture of the puck or something and if you put it on crooked the first time you might as well throw away the 270 dollar stick you just bought because the adhesive on these bad boys was stronger than Gorilla Glue after drying for 6-8 hours. But if you’re considering buying it, don’t take my word for it, take it from Willie Mitchell of the Vancouver Canucks circa 2007.

2. RBK (Rebok) 9K 0-Stick


 Called the O-Stick because O my god it has holes in it, and O wow it’s 250 dollars. One of the more recent crazes on our list it was definitely a design that turned a lot of heads and sold a good amount of sticks, but after we step back and look at this Frankenstein, we-tried-a-little-too-hard-to-be-innovative design we realize that the only one who could pull this stick off was Pavel Datsyuk, who, then again, can pull off anything. Seriously, anything. With “RBK” pressing a bit much to establish themselves in the hockey world after buying out CCM, they realized a stick with more holes in it than 50 Cent was never going to catch on for longer than a year

1. Trilage Velocity Stick


Moment of silence for this Holy Trinity of a hockey stick design. The Velocity by Trilage has a shaft in the shape of, you guessed it, a triangle… to increase the speed and efficiency of not only the other teams’ but your own teammates’ insults directed toward you. I held one of these bad boys once and spun it in my hand the amount you would a Rubik’s Cube, and using it is just as confusing as trying to understand the thought process of anyone who actually went out and purchased one of these three-sided-demons. But hey, live and learn, then buy a stick with an orthodox design. 

by: Frank Sorise

Frank scored twice in a 2004 practice and hit the post once more as the zamboni was coming on. He claims it was the best skate he's had to date. He also requested we let you know that he never wanted a CCM X-ray helmet and his dad never smacked him for wanting one. We'll let you decide.          

Follow Frank on Instagram @cool.tight.sweet and Twitter @cooltightsweet.
  • August 11, 2015
  • Original Stix