Hockey players are notoriously finicky about their equipment, but it’s going to be hard to trump Mike Green’s love affair with a stick that was discontinued close to a decade ago.
From Washington Capitals blog Russian Machine Never Breaks comes the incredible story of Green and his love of the Easton Stealth CNT stick. Some may recall that during Green’s incredible 31-goal season he used the same stick for several games in a row while on a record goal scoring streak. His ten goals, which came in eight straight games, broke the record for a goal-scoring streak by a defenseman, previously held by Mike O’Connell. At the time, Green told the Associated Press that the Hockey Hall of Fame wanted the stick but he, “wasn’t going to give it up.”
Well, he eventually did. And then his next Stealth CNT broke. And then another. Eventually, by the time the 2009 postseason rolled around he was out of the model and had to switch to the Easton S17. That was, at least, until the Capitals put the record-setting Stealth back in his hands.
However, like anyone who has owned a composite stick can attest to, these sticks don’t last forever. The once-Hall of Fame bound stick eventually snapped and that was the end of that. The simple solution would of course be for Green to simply go out and buy a brand new batch of Stealth CNTs. Unfortunately, that’s going to be impossible.
According to Easton, the models of sticks are changed every one to two years, and, sadly for Green, his beloved model of Stealth stopped being manufactured around 2007.
In speaking with Green, however, Russian Machine’s Chris Gordon found out that Green recently stumbled upon the stick he’s using now while going through his garage and immediately set out on the path to acquire as many as he could. He’s even asked teammate Karl Alzner, who said he has one back home in British Columbia, to ship it out to the Capitals practice facility. Green even said he would consider going the eBay route to acquire more sticks, if need be.
To recap, this means Green held on to his Stealth CNTs for two years after they went out of circulation and is playing with this recently discovered gem almost a decade since they were discontinued.
So, what’s so special about that specific stick?
“It’s just feel (of the stick),” Green told Gordon. “There’s no specifics to it other than square shaft, softer blade, and the good feeling of a well balanced stick.”
Whether or not there’s something to it, who knows. Green hasn’t registered a point in six games, but if he’s feeling better out there with the Stealth CNT back in his hands, maybe the goals are coming. And if Green – or the stick – gets hot around playoff time, something about his story makes one believe prying the Stealth CNT away from him if he sets another record will be impossible.