That is so damn cute. KING KARL IS GREAT, MORE PEOPLE SHOULD WANT HIS STICKS, I WANT KARL TO GET ALL THE STICKS.
Alzner and Alex Ovechkin are the Capitals’ most avid collectors. For Ovechkin, swaps are simple because his own stick is sought after due to his elite status and the blade’s unique curve. Ovechkin estimated he has 60 sticks — legends such as Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Brett Hull represented — displayed along the walls of his home gym….
Alzner laughed that his stick has only been requested back twice, with one occasion being this season. He asked Detroit Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin for a stick as they lined up for a faceoff, and a flattered Larkin wanted to trade, so Alzner inscribed a message to the speedy 19-year-old to “slow down.”
That the practice is considered to be what Ottawa’s Zack Smith called an “elite players’ ritual” makes some players hesitant to participate. Smith said he wouldn’t feel comfortable asking for someone’s stick because of the occasionally abrasive role he plays on the ice. Washington’s Tom Wilson agreed. “It’s kind of tough when you go out and hammer a guy and then ask for a stick after,” Wilson said with a shrug.
…Now I feel bad for Tom. Tom deserves sticks as well.
The more unique a stick is, the more desirable. Alzner pines for the stick of San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, in part because he uses so few a year. It’s in two pieces, so Thornton typically just changes out the blade. Alzner has tried and failed to get one for three or four years, but is hopeful former Capitals winger Joel Ward, now with the Sharks, can help facilitate an acquisition.
The whole article is great, and covers a bunch of different teams and players. Also. Stick swapping as, like, a feature of trying to find your soulmate/soulbond, please discuss.