Tri-City Storm Hockey

Today is:

        Ever wonder why those hockey players look so big on the ice and then when you see them after the game they turn out to be such thin guys? Maybe this is why.

                                                            Shoulder pads
shoulder pad           Shoulder pads do not just cover the shoulders. They look almost like a jacket and provide torso and spine protection. A flying puck or a collision with an opposing player is not as painful as a fan might believe. The pads are made of foam with adjustable chest and side panels. Some models have abdominal and back protectors which can be extended for extra protection.
          The goalie’s chest and arm protector has thicker padding in front than a player's shoulder pads. It incorporates the three part elbow pad and the shoulder pad into one piece. Each new modes of padding by the leading manufacturers strives to make this piece of equipment lighter but with better protection and a design which allows for better mobility. goalie shoulder pad

                                                            Elbow Pads
Elbow pads           The elbow pad has three parts to provide freedom of arm movement while providing protection. There is a reinforced elbow cup with portions above and below to protect the forearms and triceps in case of a hit from a puck.

        But you don’t see any of this padding because it is covered by the team jersey.…..unless there is a fight and a jersey is pulled off.


player gloves           A hockey player’s gloves are made with thin palms and fingers for ease of movement but with substantial padding on the back for protection. The thumb is reinforced to keep it from bending backwards.
          The goalie wears a blocker on the hand that holds the stick. It has a square pad on the back which he can use to deflect shots. goalie gloves
goalie catcher           On the other hand the goalie wears a catch glove. This glove is used to either catch flying pucks or to pick the puck up off the ice. The end of the catch glove extends out beyond the fingers so they will not be injured when catching a fast flying puck.


        Breezers, or as the Canadians call them, hockey pants, are the specially padded pants worn by all hockey players (and street hockey players). The first version of this garment was a full length waist to ankle trouser developed for the 1981-2 hockey season. It was called a “Cooperall” (as opposed to a coverall, I guess) because it was manufactured by the Cooper Company. It was not padded but was a shell trouser that covered the padding worn underneath. It was a failure.        

        The current, more successful version is padded, goes up high at the waist and down to the knee. The breezer is laced up in front and has a belt. The goalie’s breezers also have suspenders. Fans may observe as the season progresses the inseams on the breezers of the more active players giving out. We have had a Storm player, or two, in the early years of the franchise who practically looked like they were wearing skirts (kilts?) by the time playoffs came around.

        According to one source, they are called “breezers” because the bottom of the legs of the pants are quite wide, allowing for a fair amount of breeze to blow in when the player is skating. This source also says that the term “breezer” is used mainly in Wisconsin and Minnesota, that they are called hockey pants elsewhere. Would it be because the majority of the Storm players on the first 2-3 teams came from Minnesota that we call them breezers here?


            Women’s breezers are cut a little differently than men’s to allow for the differences in hip and waist proportions.

                                                               Leg Protection

Shin guards                           Shin Guards
          Moving on down from the breezers, the next piece of the hockey player’s equipment is the shin guard. This piece of equipment covers the knee cap as well as the shin. It is made of high density foam. The knee cover may be separate and hinged to the shin guard. Straps around the back of the leg hold the guard in place. The shin guards are not seen because they are covered by the socks.
                     Goalie Pads
       The goalie’s leg pads are much more prominent, perhaps the most dominant part of his equipment. USA Hockey rules regulate the size of the goalie’s pads. They extend above the knees and the bottom of the pad covers the top of the skate. The part that extends over the skate is called the boot and is either flat or pressed into a concave shape. Like the shin guards, the goalie pads have straps which wrap around the leg in the back.

goalie pads
       The size of a goalie’s leg pads has been a point of contention for the past 90 years. In 1925-26 the limit on the width of the pads was set at 12”. Two years later it was changed to 10” and later to 11".   A few years ago the length of the pads was set at a maximum of 38”.

        The official NHL rules for 2010-2011 relating to goalie equipment states that, “Each goalkeeper must wear pads that are anatomically proportional and size specific based on the individual physical characteristics of that goalkeeper.”  The rules for length are quite involved but basically depend on the size of the player.


Revised: 07/07/2016