This one is one of my favorite quick hockey hacks that I've been using for the past year. I can't take all the credit for this one though; I first saw this on Dana Heinze's (Head Equipment Manager for the Pittsburgh Penguins) Twitter feed and also got a tip from John Sokolski, Boston University Women's Ice Hockey Equipment Manager.
Have you ever been walking out of the locker room and heard a clicking sound come from your skate blade and holder? It's almost as if the blade has been loosened and will fall right out at any second. Well, the good news is that chances are your blade isn't going to fall out, but if that doesn't put your mind at ease and you really just want to get rid of that clicking follow these 4 steps below.
What you'll need:
-Clear Hockey Tape
-X-acto knife (optional)
Step 1: Remove Your Steel
Depending on what brand and model of skate you have you may need to unscrew (older Bauer, CCM, or Reebok models) or pull the trigger (Newer Bauer models) to remove your steel.
Step 2: Clean Steel
Now's a good time to wipe down that steel with a damp cloth, making sure to remove any dirt or small impediments that may prevent our tape from sticking and then let dry. When the steel is room temp and dry, move to the next step.
Step 3: Tape
Ok, here's the magic: Cut two pieces of clear tape (around 2-3 inches in length). You may need to work around different features of the skate blade depending on the brand/model. Take each of those strips and wrap the top side of the blade, try to be as even as possible. Use your fingers to press down and remove any wrinkles or air bubbles left in the tape.
Step 4: Replace Steel
You may need to use a little extra force at first to push the steel back into the holder. If you still can't manage to get the steel in, remove the strips and trim them down in length (around 50% of what they were before) and try again or use the masking/painters tape which is a bit thinner. After it's in, I'll always use a Xacto knife to trim all of the tape hanging outside of the holder to make it easier to stone/deburr after sharpening.
That's it. I've been using this hack for a year now, and it works like a charm. I recently took out my steel to sharpen it using the Sparx Blade Holder and I removed the tape but forgot to put it back on. So last night at my game, I had the clicking steel again and it annoyed the heck out me and reminded me how important/useful this hack is.
Got any other quick hockey hacks you use? Let us know in the comments below!