Like a hot knife through butter.

The NHL will be testing out a new hockey skate design. Heated blades, to make players skate faster. They are testing the new skates on “as many as 10 NHL players”, which strikes me as being a bit of an unfair advantage for those 10 guys, if the skates work as advertised. Which I’m sure they do, or Gretzky wouldn’t endorse them. It also makes good sense from a scientific standpoint. Warm blades will have a slight melting effect on contact with the ice, creating a thin layer of water on the surface. Anybody who’s tried to stop on wet pavement knows how well hydroplaning reduces friction. Similar principle here. I’m also guessing that it would reduce the need to clean the snow off your blades between shifts, or at the end of the game. The major concern would seem to be the cumulative effect on the ice surface of having multiple players flying around on heated skates. Might make things a bit sloppy. I’m not sure how well a test batch of 10 skaters will answer that question, though.

One of these days, I need to get back on the ice in my old-fashioned unheated skates, and see if I can still play….

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  • By backfiles on November 5, 2007 at 5:41 am

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