View Full Version : Stastny embodies old-time hockey

11-09-2008, 03:51 PM
Hockey dressing rooms are notorious for their smells. If you have a weak stomach, you do not want to get a whiff of an NHL player's sweaty glove. Another olfactory hallmark around the locker room used to be the smell of propane-torched wood and glue, from players molding wood hockey sticks to their liking.

But that smell is drifting away from the room because wood sticks are nearly extinct. The Avalanche's young star, Paul Stastny, is one of the last holdouts, one of an estimated 10 players in the NHL who still uses an all-wood stick.

Wood's obsolescence is startling when you consider just 25-30 years ago every NHL player used all-wood sticks. But, starting with aluminum shafts in the 1980s and the evolution to today's one-piece sticks made of graphite, Kevlar and fiberglass, wood sticks are going the way of wooden drivers in golf.

In November 2007, the last factory to exclusively mass produce all-wood sticks based in Sherbrooke, Quebec went out of business.

So why is a young guy such as Stastny being so old-fashioned?