I loved mine. Played pee wee through Junior with them and never washed them. Finally did and they came out of the wash in pieces. Got new ones but they were too bulky so I haven't worn any for 20 years. Had surgery on both shoulders and a couple of slap shots to the chest but I guess that isn't bad for 20 years. Should have had more duct tape.
Massive plastic cupped shoulder pads; check
full cage with mouth guard attached; check
massive cumbersome pants that interfere with skating; check
stick flailing helplessly carving the nearest player that actually knows how to control himself on the ice; check.
It gets pretty bad with the guys that started playing as adults sometimes.
Count me out regarding this opinion.
The pants comment mystifies me. As soon as the puck is dropped, I cannot notice any part of my equipement besides my stick and if my skates are too loose. I wear all the protection I can afford, and it never hinders me.
Plus, the whole popular opinion that guys with cages are more reckless with their sticks is a myth propgated by guys with an agenda such as Don Cherry.
For the record 99% of the guys in the NHL grew up playing with full shields. The "advantage" of not having a cage is psychological.
Regarding guys that start out as adults.... I have to agree.