JMS Hockey Blog

JMS is a pickup hockey league

Month: May, 2011


by barbaragarn

By Mark Chapin, JMSer and co-founder of Lifetime Hockey 

Contrary to some manufacturer’s statements, no hockey helmet has been proven to prevent brain concussions. The primary purpose of the helmet is to prevent skull fractures when you fall. 

According to Charles Pink, store manager at the Hockey Giant in Bloomington, “The best way to help reduce injuries is to get a properly fitting helmet.” Scott Fuerstenberg, who manages Dave’s Sports Shop in Fridley, says “With the right fit, there should be no wiggle when you shake your head.”


Many of the mid-priced helmets have comfortable padding and will provide adequate head protection. However, some of the low-end helmets (like the Easton S7 and S9, Vector 04-08, Bauer 1500, 4500, and 5100) use vinyl nitrate and dual-density foams that will harden over time after contact with perspiration acids. Because the foam hardens as it is repeatedly exposed to sweat acids, the helmet foam does not provide the same level of protection as when it was new. For this reason, a low-end helmet should be replaced ever few years.


Pink notes that most high end helmets use EPP foam combined with a softer, gel-like foam that does not harden over time. Some examples of high-end helmets include the Reebok 6K and 8K (soon to be replaced by the 7K and 11K), Bauer 7500 and 9900, CCM Vector 10, Easton S13, S17 and S19.


I really like the new M11, manufactured by Cascade Sports. It has a nice fit and it looks pretty good, too. This helmet is the product of a project led by NHL legend Mark Messier to design a better hockey helmet. Check out this review and the comments about the M11’s level of protection.


The M11 (Messier wore number 11 on his jersey) has a one-piece shell with a thumb ratchet adjustment on the back of the helmet near the neckline. The M11 comes in small, medium and large. It’s more expensive than some helmets; the price at Dave’s Sports Shop and at Hockey Giant is $119.99.


So take a look your helmet and its fit. Does it slide around when you shake your head? Does it pinch your head and cause pain and headaches? Is it a low-end helmet that you have had for a couple of years, or was it used when you bought it? Maybe it is time to replace your helmet. 

Face Protection Discussion

by barbaragarn

​I got this e-mail from a JMSer and I thought I would post it (anonymously) and generate some discussion. 

I strongly feel that all players should use face protection–especially Levels 1-3. You may think your reaction time is great, but you never know what kooky stuff will happen on the ice. Is it worth your teeth? I have seen some nasty stuff on the ice.

Here’s the e-mail:

In the short time I have been playing JMS games, I have noticed people getting injured because they don’t wear face protection. Most recently at the level 3 game I played in Richfield Friday. A collision that would have been no big deal turned into a bloody mouth and possibly dental work (I am not sure because the hurt player was not on my bench). 

The week before someone played with wire rim glasses (which I also wear) and no cage or visor. I thought, has he ever seen the damage even a minor blow to the corner of those eyeglass frames can do to the bridge of the nose and eye socket? I have and it is not pretty. 

I always wear a cage because it just makes sense to me. I don’t want to leave the rink hurt or feel bad because someone else didn’t wear protection. It is a rough game and things happen and we all know that going in, yet it seems these types of injuries are easily preventable with proper equipment. It is kind of like seat belts or motorcycle helmets, some people just don’t want them. 

I understand the freedom of choice. I know JMS can’t force things on people and shouldn’t. As the shoulder pad debate last week proved, everyone has their own take on it. I am not about to tell anyone what to do. I thought maybe it could be brought up for discussion on your chat forum and maybe some people would think twice about it. I hate to see people get hurt when you know it was avoidable.