Thursday, August 11 2022

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Vegas Golden Knights NHL hockey team defenseman Brayden McNabb trains with DriBlades which have been developed for off-ice training of hockey players, at Kelly’s Next Level Training Center Riou in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Thursday, June 16, 2022. (Jason Johnson/Alien Kinetics via hotspot

PA

In nearly two decades of coaching NHL players, Kelly Riou has tried just about everything to help them replicate the unnatural motion of skating when off the ice.

He believes he’s found it now, with the help of a retired quarterback and a drone engineer, and hopes it will revolutionize the way hockey players at all levels train in the game. gymnasium. His company Alien Kinetics unveiled the DriBlades and accompanying weighted slide on Monday after development and testing involving a handful of NHL players who work with Riou.

“I had in mind to bridge the gap to allow guys to train and give strength coaches, skating coaches a little more of a precise tool for this crazy locomotion of skating,” Riou told L. ‘Associated Press. “Because of the demands of the game, it should have been there before me, truth be told, because BOSU balls, unstable surfaces – other measures that we use to really try to facilitate or help the player to develop – these weren’t close enough.”

Players take out the regular blades and can replace them with the DriBlades to do lifting and other dry zone workouts. Already one of the best skaters in the league, Stanley Cup champion Chandler Stephenson tried them out, along with current Vegas Golden Knights teammate Brayden McNabb, Seattle Kraken’s Kole Lind and San Jose Sharks’ Lane Pederson. He touted the benefits.

“Everything I’ve done before that’s ‘hockey related’ has been on the ice, so having something off the ice where you can break down even more, work on every inch of your blades, has been great,” said Stephenson said. . “It’s like having a practice for hockey. It was just crazy to feel the toes, the heels, the whole ball of your foot. It made me better because it makes you feel more grounded.

The metal skate insert and slide Abductor – which former QB Jason Johnson and co-founder called “a dumbbell for your feet” – was developed with the help of inventor and entrepreneur Zenon Dragan, known for developing drone technology and having one of its featured in the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum.

Riou said it helps players move their legs on the ice like skating better than using a towel or something else to provide resistance.

Acknowledging how hard it is to translate gym work onto the ice, McNabb said he’s become addicted to using the DriBlades.

“All those little muscles that you can’t access unless you’re on the ice, you can target them,” McNabb said. “After walking on the ice, I noticed an immediate difference.”

Johnson, who played at the University of Arizona and then three seasons in the Canadian Football League, said the most common responses from those who tried the blades were, “Why didn’t we get that 20 years ago ? and “Why haven’t I always used this?”

“We want it to be just another part of a hockey player’s bag,” Johnson said. “The fact that you can just pull out your ice blade now and insert a DriBlade in 10 seconds and train with it, I think is a huge advantage.”

Riou, who has been coaching NHL players and others since 2003 in Saskatoon, Sask., said he thinks it’s a good middle ground between treadmill skating and power ice skating.

“What did we do before? ” he said. “Here, you’re in your shoes and then you go out on the ice and see if you’re better. That was it before. It’s crazy when you understand the physics of skating. This thing actually gives you a chance.

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Follow AP Hockey writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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