The New Jersey Devils may have to resort to using another brand of hockey sticks due to due to the coronavirus outbreak in China.
For some New Jersey Devils players, the coronavirus has delayed manufacturing and shipment of hockey sticks. Matt Porter of the Boston Globe reported that approximately 75% of highly customized sticks are manufactured in China. Bauer and CCM are two companies that produce their high-end sticks in the area where the virus has forced all operations at their plants to cease.
“It’s definitely been tough. A lot of guys have actually started to use each others’ sticks,” Devils forward Kevin Rooney told Chris Ryan of NJ Advance Media. “Right now, I’m using (Blake) Coleman’s stick. It’s tough not having a lot of sticks because guys like to go through them. Even if they’re not breaking, guys like to switch—once a week, minimum—to try to use a new stick. Just the way they’re built, the pop in the stick goes away after a week.”
The number of sticks used by a player varies from one another. Some players prefer to use a new stick for every game, while others prefer to use the same stick until it breaks. Most players have at least a supply of three sticks during every game in reserve.
Blake Coleman changed to a new stick before the shortage and now, aside from loaning a few pieces of lumber to Rooney, he is trying to conserve the ones he has until the manufacturers can resume production.
A byproduct of the stick shortage has hit the average fan attending games. Players have been known to give away their sticks during warmups or after games. Players are hesitant to hand out those rare souvenirs until they can the stick shortage is a thing of the past.