March 23, 2002

New York Times columnist Dave Anderson offers a suggestion to make NHL fans safer from errant pucks: double the height of the Plexiglass at each end.

posted by rcade to hockey at 05:40 PM - 3 comments

As I've said before, it's all fine and dandy to make statements like that, but I wonder: has the writer has even considered the phsyics or design behind that idea? I don't see any "expert testimony" from glass designers, arena builders or even a scientist to explain how this would work. He might as well have suggested the "Star War puck defence system" with lasers and tracking devices. Imagine a sheet of plexiglass 16' tall: 1) If it is as thin as the current design, it won't be strong enough at that height and will have to be tethered in place by ropes strung from the ceiling or it will topple down. As well, a puck will shatter the plexiglass MUCH easier. And how long would it take to replace this giant piece of plexiglass? 2) If it is thicker than the current design, it will provide absolutely NO give to a player being checked into the boards. It will be like smashing your head against concrete. The NHL is going to be going around the league in the offseason replacing the current type of glass because it is not flexible enough. Too many players are getting concussions from banging their heads off the glass, so they want to put in place a new type that bends more. You can't do that if you want to make it thicker. 3) If the idea is for a two-piece glass system (8' then another 8'), then how do you secure the top part to the lower part? And how does the top part stay in place and not topple over? More guide wires? And what happens if that peice should break? Will each arena need a crane or ladder system installed so they can replace that glass up there? It was a silly puff-piece column with no explanations and no research.

posted by grum@work at 11:54 AM on March 24, 2002

in my hometown, all of our rinks had white netting above the glass at either end. And I never once found it annoying as a fan. And now that I think of it, the same was true of Lynah Rink at Cornell. (Although for a while there it was black). Unfortunately, I doubt that idea would go over well in NHL rinks. I think that fans woud complain too much about anything that would make them safer, and thus, it's just going to continue to be a watch-at-your-own-risk sport...

posted by Bernreuther at 03:47 PM on March 24, 2002

hey, leave the scientific r&d to scientists.

posted by garfield at 12:23 PM on March 29, 2002

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