The New Jersey Devils sported a new look on practice yesterday as they’re preparing for the game against Philadelphia Flyers this coming Saturday. For the first time, the Devils will wear Reverse Retro gear. They’ll be playing in their Red, Blue, and Yellow threads, in an homage to their days as the Colorado Rockies.
The Reverse Retro gears are visually cool but work exactly the same as their ordinary gear. But some players wanted to try something a bit different during practice, and oh, what a challenge it was.
Miles Wood, Dawson Mercer, Ryan Graves, and Dougie Hamilton stepped onto the ice with wooden sticks. Per the NHL, they took some shots on an empty net to try it out and shared a few laughs.
“It was cool. “I would have liked to have a little curve on it and just no flex, it just pretty much hit the puck,” Dawson Mercer said. “It was cool to see the difference and for sure have a lot of respect for using those sticks.”
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For Miles Wood, things didn’t really go as he thought they would. Before the advent of one-piece composite sticks, players tried to put a curve on their wooden twigs by blowtorching them. Wood didn’t like how his temporary stick was flat, so he tried the old trick. And it failed completely.
“It was flat when they handed me the stick, and I wanted to put a little curve on it,” Wood said, per NHL.com. “So I took a blow torch to it and I lit the stick on fire.
“You have to keep it at the right spot and I was a little too close to it. So yeah, the wooden stick is flammable.”
Wood at least learned something on the way; How to not blowtorch a wooden stick, and to respect the players who had to play with the wooden stick way more.
“It was super flex-y, the flex was not right at all. The blade was weird, I broke the blade off of a slapshot,” said Wood. “Back then that’s the technology and that’s all that they knew at that point so they thought it was great. When I look back on it and tried to use it I don’t just get how my dad played with it, or Chris Taylor, or all those guys, or Coach Ruff played with those sticks. I just don’t know how they did it. But it was nice to put it in perspective and I’m just thankful we have great technology now.”
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