Toronto, Ontario - The Toronto Maple Leafs are the first NHL franchise to set up their own players’ shooting room, installing the skill-honing space in their practice facility at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto. But it took a little experimentation to make sure players weren’t dodging as many rebounding pucks as they shot.
The original setup included the typical dasher board and glass configuration seen in most arenas, built against a block wall. But players soon found that the puck was rebounding off the glass at a high velocity, risking injury. Covermaster was contacted by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. to provide arena wall padding that would limit the rebound by absorbing some of puck’s force.
The first standard type of padding, commonly used in baseball fields, had the puck coming back even harder than before, said Covermaster Regional Representative Larry Moreland. It was time to get creative, and after sending three different sample pads, one finally stood up to the punishing impact of a slapshot.
The new custom wall padding, mounted on to the glass behind the goal, has a memory foam core that absorbs some of the puck’s energy and allows it to drop to the synthetic ice pad. Built last summer, the shooting room now has nine four-by-eight foot pads that are helping to keep players safe from wayward pucks.
Posted Jan 16, 2018