June 2013



STX creates

ice hockey division 


stxgear STX is stepping into a different sporting goods arena. The Baltimore-based manufacturer of lacrosse, golf and field hockey equipment announced this week it is launching an ice hockey division.


STX said it will begin production and sales of ice hockey equipment in the Fall of 2014. The STX Ice Hockey line will initially include sticks and protective padding.


"Over the past two years, we have taken a very methodical and deliberate approach by leveraging our existing knowledge of protective gear and stick composites to create products of which we are really proud," said Jason Goger, President of STX.  "Recently, the process has dramatically accelerated due to the addition of some key players with extensive experience in the ice hockey industry who will help us equip the world's best players with STX products by the 2014 season."


Click here to read more in a story from The Baltimore Sun.


Bauer ranks No. 1 with NHL players


ovechkin Bauer continues to be the No. 1 brand of choice by players in the National Hockey League, according to a league-wide assessment report of active rosters conducted by the company.


In the five major player equipment categories of skates, sticks, helmets, gloves and pants, Bauer is overwhelmingly the top brand demanded and worn by the world's most elite players. Bauer's dominant position includes 71 percent of skates, 41 percent of helmets, 34 percent of sticks, 36 percent of gloves and 37 percent of pants.


Bauer sticks are also used by four of the top five goal scorers in the league, including Alex Ovechkin (above, 32 goals) and Steven Stamkos (29 goals).


"We're proud to continue to be the No. 1 brand of choice by players in the NHL in every product category, including the stick category which continues to be a growth area for us," said Kevin Davis, President and CEO of Bauer Performance Sports. "With a shortened season, every game matters that much more, and our No. 1 position is a testament to our high-performance products and the trust players have in our brand."


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NHL makes visors mandatory

for new players


staalinjuryThe NHL competition committee decided this week to make visors mandatory for all players entering the league, starting next season. Five owners and five players reached a consensus to grandfather in mandatory visors, which gives all current players the choice of wearing them, but all incoming players have to keep wearing them as they currently do in junior, college and European hockey.


An eye injury suffered by New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (above) in March increased the visor debate. Mathieu Schneider, the special assistant to NHL Players Association executive Donald Fehr, said more players started wearing visors after Staal's injury. Schneider, who didn't wear a visor during his career as an NHL defenseman, said no consideration was given to making visors immediately mandatory for all current players.


"I think the biggest thing is that every player coming into the league has to have previously worn one," Schneider said to The Hockey News. "And we have 70-plus percent of the guys currently wearing them in the league. Overall, it's just been a change in attitude."


The competition committee also decided to form a subcommittee to look at shrinking some goaltending equipment and other equipment alterations, including gear worn by skaters. Schneider said that committee will get together as soon as possible.


Click here to read the full story regarding mandatory use of visors from The Hockey News.


Click here to read more about the potential changes to goaltenders' equipment from InGoal Magazine.


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Blame the media?

Canadian medical researchers do for contributing to hockey's violence, danger


hockeyfight Medical researchers from Canada have produced a study which blames the media for hockey being such a violent and dangerous sport.


"Media reports of an issue such as TBI (traumatic brain injury) in sport can contribute to an altered culture," they write in a study published online April 17 in the journal PLOS ONE.


Researchers from the Injury Prevention Research Office and the Division of Neurosurgery at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto used computers to scan newspaper articles about hockey in four cities with teams that play in the NHL. The analysis included stories written from 1985 to June 15, 2011, in the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Vancouver Sun and the Toronto Star.


The researchers wrote: "It is likely that the reporting on TBI that we have documented is also a likely factor that contributes to a culture that normalizes aggressive and violent behavior." 


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NFHS rule changes

aim for player safety


nfhs The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Ice Hockey Rules Committee approved four major rule changes in late April which it hopes will continue to minimize injury risks.


Players are not allowed to push, charge, cross-check or body-check an opponent from behind into the boards or goal frame. A violation would result in a major and misconduct penalty, and if flagrant, a game disqualification.


"Checking from behind is the most dangerous act in the sport," said Dan Schuster, who is the NFHS assistant director of coach education and staff liaison to the Ice Hockey Rules Committee. "With all of the changes, the goal of the committee is to minimize the risk of injury."


Checking an unsuspecting or vulnerable player is also not allowed in an effort to eliminate blind-side hits and stress legal body-checking.


"The committee is striving to take these dangerous and unnecessary hits out of the game," Schuster said.


Another change toward risk minimization is if a goaltender's glove is displaced, play is immediately stopped. And the committee also instituted a rule prohibiting the embellishment of acts in an effort to draw a penalty through any exaggerated or deceitful acts or to attempt to worsen an already called penalty.


According to an NFHS athletics participation survey, ice hockey is the 15th-most popular boys sport with 35,732 participants in 1,612 schools. There were 8,833 girls who participated in the sport at 600 schools.

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Wild's Mike Rupp Breaks Skate Blade, Slips All Over The Ice
What happens when a hockey player's skate breaks? Watch the Minnesota Wild's Mike Rupp in an overtime first-round playoff game against the Chicago Blackhawks.


Click here to check out some of the newest products and innovations on the hockey market in the HDA's New Product Digest. 



One of the great HDA membership benefits is the ability to save money on ALL of your shipping costs - including inbound shipments from vendors. You can click here for more details about the PartnerShip program and how members can save even more money than they may have realized.




Chuck Suritz

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Marty Maciaszek




In This Issue
BUSINESS BEAT ... STX creates ice hockey division
AROUND THE ICE ... Canadian medical researchers blame media for contributing to hockey's violence
A BAD BREAK ... NHL player breaks a skate during a playoff game
Check out the HDA New Product Digest
Work search
Are you looking for someone to fill a job opening? Do you know someone who is looking for a job in the hockey industry?
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Welcome aboard to SISU Mouthguards
 sisulogo The Hockey Dealers Association would like to welcome its newest member - SISU Mouthguards! SISU has been in business since 2008 and is based out of Ann Arbor, Mich. Its mouthguards are thinner but give athletes the ability to talk, drink and breathe. Click here to check out their website and learn more about SISU.
Did you know?
stanleycup The original Stanley Cup was presented to the NHL champions until 1970 when it was retired to a vault in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Since then the NHL has used a replica, which was built in 1963. 
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