Maroon, a former roller hockey player who won gold with the United States at the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation’s ice hockey world championship, is among the many NHL players who have turned toward inline skating since March 12, when the NHL season was halted and all of the team’s training facilities were closed due to concerns over the coronavirus.
Robby Glantz, a former NHL power skating coach and skating and skills expert for the NHL Network, said that online practice is perhaps the most effective off-ice cross-training idea for players to keep their leg, hip and groin muscles in shape.
However, he warns that it is not perfect and that players should be careful that it does not adversely affect them when they are allowed to return to the ice.
“The stop is literally the opposite,” said Glantz, who among the players he has worked with lists the Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Chicago Blackhawks Center Jonathan Toews and United States National Women’s Team forward Kendall Coyne-Schofield. “The muscle memory it takes to learn to stop on inline skates is 180 degrees from what we have to do on the ice. You push into healing to stop on inline skates, and expert skaters push and make a modified tight turn stop and they If you try this on the ice, your ankles will break or you will feel that way. The balance points are also different, but not enough where I wouldn’t suggest it. It’s a great training tool as long as you understand what you are doing. “
Players use it as a training tool.
They do it at home and post it on social media, like the Florida Panthers Center Aleksander Barkov and Penguins ahead Patrick Marleau.
Skate and stick to play away from their dogs, like Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitchell marner.
They will skate with their dogs like the Chicago Blackhawks Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat.
They skate while pushing a stroller, like the defender of the Nashville Predators Mattias Ekholm and the Philadelphia Flyers ahead Claude Giroux.
They play games on the street, like the Hughes brothers; Vancouver Canucks defender Quinn Hughes, New Jersey Devils Center Jack hughes and their younger brother, Luke, a prospect in the USA Hockey National Team development program.
“The most important thing to me about inline skating is just putting on your skate shoe, having your feet in your skates, just that feeling of tying my skates,” said the Lightning defender. Braydon coburn, who skates with her children. “I don’t know, maybe it’s just a little therapeutic. “
Wayne Gretzky even said he would do it right now when the Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin asked him for advice on how to best manage ice-free life on the #HockeyAtHome.
“I could have skated as much as possible on a flat property in the neighborhood,” said Gretzky. “Your hands and your shooting and stick handling will never go away, but one of the things you lose quickly if you don’t skate everyday is this skating stride. So if I were a player of today’s generation and we were stranded, I would try to find places to roller skate as much as possible. “
Barkov, Anaheim Ducks defender Hampus Lindholm and Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin are on the growing list of players trying out a new inline skate called Marsblade, which uses patented technology called Flow Motion Technology designed to mimic the feeling of skating on the ice, says chief operating officer and inventor Per Mars .
Mars said it recently sent full-team skate orders to several NHL teams.
“We designed the frame with a divided chassis, where the upper chassis has a radius-shaped rocker surface and the lower chassis has a flat upper surface, creating a rocker system that allows a simulated feeling of ice skating”, said Mars. “It allows you to get the same maneuverability, push, activate the same muscle groups and challenge balance like ice skating does. “
Bob Woods, a Minnesota Wild assistant who played professionally in Roller Hockey International, an online professional league in North America in the 1990s, said that striding on inline skates is more difficult because you n ” not get the same glide that you do on the ice, which makes the skater much more difficult, creating a more difficult exercise.
Glantz, however, said players should be careful about the stride technique and the impact that inline skating can have on it, saying that players who inline skate should exercise restraint and focus on the techniques they use on ice skates, including pushing their hips and legs outward.
Woods remembers the challenge of getting back on ice skates to play in Austria after playing Roller Hockey International.
“I literally grabbed the edge of the boards and had to learn to skate again,” said Woods. “I was like, these people in Europe are going to say to themselves” what have we signed here? If you looked at me, you would have thought that I had never walked on the ice in my life. “
Woods said he got it back in a pile of eight. It didn’t take long, but it was scary.
“It’s different from being on a sharp blade that you dig into the ice, working around the edges, lowering yourself down,” said Maroon. “Everyone says it’s hard to duplicate on-board work and I agree, but other than that it’s the same thing. You can still make turns, tight turns. You can work on your hands, your shot. “
Glantz said he believes players who come from roller hockey generally have better hands.
“When you practice your stick handling with the puck on the cement, you have to feel it more and do it faster to move this thing so that it grows more,” said Glantz.
Nothing spawns around the corner and fights for a puck, trying to stand up when supported by a bigger man. Players will only be able to do it again with confidence by getting back in shape with a mini training camp.
But at the very least, rollerblading can help them now, even to keep their minds in shape.
“You could be the best guy on the bike or the best guy on any type of cardio equipment, it doesn’t translate at all to what you do on the ice,” said Los Angeles Kings defenseman Angeles. Drew Doughty said. ” [In-line skating] might be something I need to look into. ”