TAMPA – It’s different for every individual player, but some members of the Bruins will be looking into the Kevlar “no cut” socks after the incident with Erik Karlsson and Matt Cooke last week.
Cooke and the Ottawa defenseman were battling in the corner for a loose puck and the Pittsburgh troublemaker came down with a skate blade on the back of Karlsson’s foot that ended up lacerating his Achilles tendon. The injury means the reigning Norris Trophy winner is done for the season, and it’s also sparked some healthy curiosity among NHL players around the league.
There wasn’t a groundswell of requests inside the Bruins dressing room for the “cut proof” socks after the incident with Karlsson, but Gregory Campbell indicated it’s something he’s going to ask about after spotting the socks while watching hockey on Monday night.
“I was watching the Colorado/Nashville game and it made me want to ask the trainers about them. I had never even thought about it until the guy on TV showed them,” said Campbell. “It’s a simple thing like a sock and I’m sure it’s just like any other sock. I know guys have the lining in their hockey socks, but an awful lot of times I have seen the cuts in the back. It’s something that could definitely prevent a lot of injuries. It’s a good idea.”
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference actually made sleeves out of patches of the Kevlar material and uses them to guard his wrists from potential skate blade cuts.
Dennis Seidenberg has been sliced at the top of both his calves and across his chest by errant skate blades over the years and has the Frankenstein scarring to prove it. But the tough German defenseman said he isn’t consistent about wearing the protection from game to game.
If Seidenberg remembers to put the extra wraps around the back of his legs and wrists then he’ll wear the protection, but he said it isn’t a mandatory part of his daily game preparation. If anybody should remember it’s a guy like Seidenberg that has seemingly been a magnet for skate blades, but he doesn’t regularly wear all of the protection offered to Boston players.
Some players didn’t like the heaviness of the socks as compared to their normal hockey socks, and Seidenberg said the models he tried weren’t good for moisture absorption over the course of a game.
“I’ve tried them before but I never really wore them consistently. I wear a sleeve that protects the area [in the back of the leg], but not regularly. It’s not the smartest thing, but that’s how stubborn people are,” said Seidenberg. “It’s not the smartest thing. The next day [after Karlsson] I came in and checked all of my stuff. I have protection up above my knees because I’ve been cut on both sides.
“I definitely consider it, but it’s an actual matter of going out and always putting [the protective equipment] on. The socks I tried before weren’t that absorbent and the sweat would just roll right down into the skates and everything would get soggy. They weren’t tight on the foot either. They kind of slid around.”
The good thing for the Bruins: the B’s equipment guys and training staff are armed with plenty of Kevlar sock samples in Wilmington and Boston if the players do get curious about trying out the “cut proof” sock protection for their Achilles tendons.
The odds are astronomical, of course, that something like the Cooke/Karlsson incident will happen again in the NHL this season, but the phrase “better safe than stupid” readily comes to mind if it’s about simply changing the kind of socks a player is using for surefire foot protection.