I have played some form of hockey since I was four years old, and every winter my dad would take me to Canadian Tire to grab a wooden hockey stick. When I finally picked one, every year he would say the same thing.
"This is the only one you get, so you better not break it."
I still have some of those sticks 10 years later.
They never broke. I always wanted to get a better stick, but why? They serve their purpose. I can still shoot the puck, pass the puck, stick-handle, and deke. I can do all the same fundamentals that a composite stick does.
So what makes them so much better?
You can get more flex from a composite stick then a wooden stick.
To explain to the less knowledgeable hockey fan, more flex equals faster shots.
I do agree that they achieve this, but you can still shoot the puck really hard with a wooden one.
Until the day they retired, Al MacInnis and Al Iafrate had the hardest shots in the league and at every skills competition were tops in fastest shot.
Where did they buy their sticks?
At their local Canadian Tire, of course.
But as time passes things change, and I understand that. Wooden sticks are a thing of the past and composite sticks are the future, but at what expense?
Over the past few years I have seen more and more sticks break, and it seems to be getting worse. I am actually going to come out and say that I have seen at least two sticks break in each game I have watched this year.
The worst part is the fact that when it happens, there is always a scoring chance caused from the stick breaking. Games change and momentum shifts all because the most basic tool of hockey breaks.
I literally watched Carlo Colaiacovo get a penalty because his stick shattered on a pass!
That's right. It wasn't even a shot; it was a pass.
Now I am not saying composite sticks are all bad. When they work, I do find that they do work better than wooden sticks for both shooting and stick-handling.
But just remember. Composite sticks may come and go, but woodies last forever.
My dad's shed back home can be the perfect testament to that.