6A - Thursday, December 2, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
With hockey sticks, Berenson remains traditional
By MARKBURNS hockey sticks, as various companies
Daily Sports Editor such as Bauer and Easton provide
samples to every Wolverine begin-
For some kids in Regina, Sas- ning in the early spring - minus the
katchewan, a broken hockey stick freshmen, who are at somewhat of a
met its demise in a garbage can. But disadvantage when it comes to pick-
Red Berenson saw it as an opportu- ing out a stick for the entire season.
nity to continue playing the game he As equipment manager Ian Hume
loved. said after Wednesday's practice, the
"I never had a new stick," Beren- University picks up the costs of the
son, now in his 27th year coaching samples, with players testing out
Michigan hockey, said after Wednes- sticks throughout much of the sum-
day's practice. "I'd go to the rink in mer. Some players will keep their
town and ... find broken sticks. t'd old model while others will switch
take them and glue and screw them brands for any number of reasons
or nail them together and be happy." "that may not have anything to do
Growing up in Canada in the late with the stick," according to Hume.
1940s and '50s, Berenson never had In mid-July, Hume calls players to
the luxury of owning a $200, one- get their top-stick choice for the fol-
piece composite stick like his current lowing season.
players are fortunate enough to pos- "My ultimate goal would be to
sess. keep all the players under thirty
With the cost of sticks hover- (total) sticks for the year," Hume
ing around SO or even 75 cents, the said.
resourceful Berenson fixed any stick Over his twenty-year stint with
he could get his hands on. Michigan, Hume said that there have
But today, Berenson and his team been those players who have been
don'thavetoworryaboutpurchasing relatively easy to deal with regard-
ing their sticks, but there have been a
particular few who have been "high-
maintenance" such as Jack Johnson
and Chad Langlais, to name a few.
"My all-time stick nightmare guy,
Billy Muckalt," Hume said of the
1998 graduate. "He played in an era
where guys were using wood blades,
and graphite or aluminum shafts.
If he didn't score in the first period,
he'd have one of the student guys put
the blade from stick one into stick
three, take the blade from stick three
and put it into two. Then, put blade
two into shaft one.
"He was a little high-mainte-
nance. There might be some psycho-
logical issues going on there, but we
don'tget into that."
The low-maintenance guys? Take
the "old school" Berenson.
Ever since he dug into trash
cans back in Regina, Berenson has
kept the wood stick in his reper-
toire, sometimes flip-flopping back
and forth between the original
and the modern one-piece com-
posite sticks that most Division I
players use today.
Berenson explained that the com-
posite model is "much lighter" than
your normal wooden stick, with
players having the ability to shoot
better with the newly designed
equipment. But with the enhanced
technology comes a moderate price,
as some players can't stickhandle as
"The sticks have a resiliency or a
stiffness to them that when the puck
hits them, the puck booms off them,"
Berenson said. "It might help your
shot, but it doesn't necessarily help
your passing, receiving, your play-
making and so on."
Sporting a wooden Reebok stick
in practice on Wednesday, Beren-
son said he isn't a fan of the more
expensive and less durable sticks.
He referenced two particular Chi-
cago Blackhawks - Stan Mikita and
Bobby Hull of the mid-1960s - who
excelled using the wooden stick,
though theirs were curved com-
pared to Berenson's straighter edge.
He claimed that "they could shoot
Michigan coach Red Berenson is in his 27th year coaching the Wolverines.
the puck as well as anyone can shoot
And until Berenson finds a better,
more suitable alternative to the old-
fashioned wooden sticks, he won't
ask Hume for any new stick samples
from Bauer or Easton representa-
tives anytime soon.
"He's holding out," Hume joked.
"He might be the only guy in the
free world that's using a wood stick
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RELEASE DATE- Thursday, December 2, 2010
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