The NHL will review a new hockey stick provider for on-ice use, the league confirmed to Sportico. Only six companies currently outfit every NHLer according to geargeek.com, with three—Bauer, CCM and Warrior—owning nearly 98 percent of the market.
The new stick design has been making the rounds as of late, particularly within the amateur market. Several YouTubers have already done reviews in recent months. Here are a couple to give you a better feel for the new design.
According to Sportico, the stick is the result of nearly a decade’s worth of work by Boston-area inventors Tovi Avnery and Scott Heitmann. They started by using Heitmann’s experience crafting military equipment with carbon fiber to try building a safer football helmet before determining that his material was too hard for that application. Baseball bats were also ruled out for similar reasons.
When the designers turned their attention to hockey sticks, they found that solid carbon fiber could replace the need for a blade core but would produce too heavy of a blade. Thus the idea for the perforations. Later aerodynamic testing found that the gridcut pattern could also reduce drag when shooting.
The company’s three stick models currently retail between $200 and $300.
Penguins assistant coach Mark Recchi remembers the puzzling looks on his players’ faces when he first brought a TOVI stick onto the ice at the beginning of this season. With a pattern of diamond-cut holes in the blade, the stick looks more like floor hockey equipment than NHL gear, but Recchi says that you don’t notice the unique design while holding the stick yourself. He was, however, struck by the puck control the stick helped him achieve.
“Pretty much every player is experimental,” Recchi said, before singling out one player who might take a particular interest in trying TOVI’s product, center Evgeni Malkin. “Malkin is the most experimental. I’m sure he’ll be grabbing this once we get going.”
By Jon Sorensen
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