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03-02-2012, 02:33 PM
  #38
ponder
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Yeah, if you're going to use a really whippy stick, it has to be a high end one, otherwise it'll be torquing all over the place, and generally feeling awful on shots and on receiving passes.

Re: stick length, I don't have stats to back this up, but my honest guess would be that around 95% of NHL players (and high level hockey players in general) use a stick that's within about 2-3" above or below their adam's apple when they're in skates. Guys using sticks that are roughly nose-height on skates are the exceptions at a higher level, they're few and far between, and mostly defensive dmen. Willie Mitchell is know for using probably the most absurdly long stick relative to his height in the league, and if you watch him resting with his stick vertical on timeouts and what not, it appears to be roughly nose height:


Again, that's pretty much the absolute extreme in terms of using a long stick, and Mitchell only uses such a long stick because he's so focused on defensive play, and not trying to do much offensively. For a player who's more of an offensive contributor, it's very rare to have a stick much above the bottom of the chin (on skates), most guys are using a stick cut to within a couple inches above or below their collar bone on skates. If your stick is well above the bottom of your chin, and you're planning on contributing somewhat offensively, it's almost certainly too long. Mitchell is 6'3", he uses a 63" long stick (measured from the heel to the end of the shaft), and it is considered RIDICULOUSLY long by NHL standards. That means if you're 6', and using a stick (60" long) stick, you're stick is relatively as ridiculously long as Mitchell's. Also worth noting that the NHL maximum allowed stick length is 63", and only if you're 6'6"+ can you apply to the league for an exception, up to a maximum stick length of 65".

As a rule of thumb for newer players, I'd say cut your stick to your adam's apple on skates, and then adjust from there if necessary (add a plug if you want a bit more length, cut it down if you want a bit less). To a certain extent you can adjust your stick length to the lie of the curve you're using, but mostly you should find a lie that suits your preferred stick length, as opposed to find a stick length to suit the lie of your blade. If the lie of a curve is so extreme that I have to use a stick more than about an inch away from my preferred length (just below the adam's apple on skates for me), then the curve is simply a bad choice IMO.

Also, yes, when transitioning from a long to a short stick, it can mess up your shot at first, you may find yourself whiffing on pucks and that shooting feels weird, but you honestly should adjust very quickly, within a few stick and pucks/practices. If you're cutting a few inches off, you may also find that your stick is too stiff at the shorter length, and that you need to move down a flex rating. But long term, I think most people's offensive skill development will be seriously aided by going from a long stick (chin to eyes height on skates) to a shorter one (somewhere near the adam's apple), so long as you find a curve with the right lie, and a stick with the right flex.


Last edited by ponder: 03-02-2012 at 02:48 PM.
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