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Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Lifespan of a NHL Stick

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Just how long does a stick typically last for each player? Plus, practice notes from yesterday, rough starts around the league, and more.

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NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Whenever you watch a NHL game, it seems that there’s always at least one stick that gets broken, if not several more. See enough hardware changes, and you have to wonder: how many sticks does a player go through?

Sean Shapiro set out to find an answer for the Dallas Stars, and the answers might surprise you. For instance, Jason Spezza apparently goes through them like a kid goes through candy after trick-or-treating:

“One game, max,” Spezza said. “Depends on where I am with the previous games. I usually prepare one new stick for sure, maybe two. I have three ready on the rack and one in the room that’s half ready, so I kind of half-do one and that’s my emergency stick if I get too much breakage during the game. Then I go through three and I have a little process to pick out which one I like best (for that game).”

Perhaps it’s an experience thing, as the lifespan of the sticks for some of the younger players seem to typically be longer:

Gemel Smith has the longest stick on the team, another Bauer Vapor 1X Lite, and said the tool typically lasts him three to four weeks.

“As long as there are no cracks in it typically I use it,” Smith said. “I think it was two years ago I used a stick for half the year, it didn’t break. It felt really whippy, but I kind of liked it.”

You can read more in Shapiro’s piece here.

Here are some practice notes from yesterday, for your reading pleasure:

It may be hard to remember, but a Martin Hanzal return is still in the cards:

Shapiro talks Valeri Nichushkin, the future of the ‘C’ after Jamie Benn, and more in his latest mailbag. [The Athletic]

Mike Heika answered some questions of his own, such as third jerseys, the next Stars number to be retired, and more in his latest Hey Heika! column: [NHL]

Also from Heika, here’s the latest podcast with him and Razor:

Central Census

There were only four games last night, but three of them featured at least one team from the Central:

It’s not as if the Central is by far the toughest division — the standings look almost identical in the Atlantic — but man is it brutal regardless:

Around the League

Erik Karlsson is off to a “slow” start, but the San Jose Sharks aren’t worried:

Elsewhere in the Pacific, the Anaheim Ducks need to get better if they want John Gibson to even have a chance at winning the Vezina: [The Hockey News]

Holy smokes, Batman: there was a trade yesterday! And it was one-for-one too!

Apparently it was a big day for the Pittsburgh Penguins organization:

Based on Drew Doughty’s recent remarks about the horrible start for the Los Angeles Kings, I can’t help but wonder if he’s regretting that signed extension already: [Sportsnet]

In light of a neutral arbitrator reducing Tom Wilson’s suspension by six games:


Dallas is one of Down Goes Brown’s five teams that has started off well (yay), but may find itself crashing and burning Ottawa Senators style (ohpleaseno):