Like sticks and skates and every other aspect of hockey, skate sharpening is evolving. What used to be available only to the pros has now made its way to Juniors, College, and youth. While most hockey players still drop their skates at the shop and never specify the hollow they prefer, we're seeing more and more players becoming educated about the options they have and how a change to their hollow might impact their game.
So, what happens when you take 5 elite level players and blind test them? Let's find out.
We hit the ice with Jon Hutcheon of High-End Hockey and five players he has been working with.
THE GOAL: To answer a couple of questions:
1) Would these players be able to identify their preferred hollow versus something different?
2) Would the experience lead to any changes in the way they sharpen their skates?
THE PLAYERS (In order of appearance)
Bobby Farnham - NCAA, AHL, NHL (Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Montreal - PTO NY Rangers)
Craig Needham - USHS, MHSL U16/U18, USHL (Youngstown), NCAA-bound (U Maine)
Sage Englund - MHSL U18, EHL, AJHL (Calgary Canucks)
Bobby Kinsey - USHS, EJEPL, EHL (Northern Cyclones)
Zach Malatesta - USHS, USPHL, QMJHL (Acadie-Bathurst)