In the NHL today, a player will stay on ice an average of 30 to 40 seconds at a time before the lines are changed. During 3 minutes of continual play, that means that the top line forwards could have 2 or more shifts depending on the flow of the game. Imagine what would happen if your skate lost an edge and had to be walked back to the locker-room for repair. Assuming that the equipment manager could get it finished within five minutes, you may have lost several shifts and the game may be drastically changed because of it. Thankfully, the minds at Edge Again have come up with a solution.
The videos on their website show that a skate blade can be sharpened and ready in just a few swipes. The player never even takes the skate off because of the rechargeable hand-held device. During the playoff's, Edge Again was seen in use on the Tampa Bay Lightning bench, and several NHL teams are already using them. The time saved is invaluable, and a player who loses an edge can be ready for their next shift.
The sharpening mechanism (or tusq) is self adjusting and only addresses the four sides that comprise the skate edges. In other words, they do not affect the skate hollow and can thus be used on any shape. I was assured by a company representative that even the flat-bottom V is able to be sharpened with Edge Again.
There are a number of other sharpening options on the market, but none seem to posess the speed and precision of this unit. I was surprised to learn that there is a manual version available that uses the same tusqs and costs quite a bit less than the motorized unit. I asked a company representative why they released this version. "To make a more affordable unit," was the simple answer. The people at Edge Again are hockey players and hockey parents. I was told a story that a young man traveled an hour and a half to practice in his league, and when he got there he lost an edge. He had to sit out for the rest of practice because there was no pro-shop nearby. The manual version of this product can keep kids just like that on the ice.
There is a passion within the company, which was evident with former NHL player Chris Kontos's contributions and leadership in this product's development. As current NHL players retire who are familliar with the speed and technology of the game, more and more amazing gear continues to pop up. Edge Again is a perfect example of people who know and love the game creating a solution to a difficult problem. If you can't skate, you can't play. Edge Again can put the majority of skaters back on the ice (shy of someone actually losing a blade, which happens occasionally).
It will be no surprise if this product becomes as common as composite sticks, and much more quickly. No one wants a first line defenseman or forward losing 3 shifts due to skate trauma. The company is also working on a Goalie version. This makes great sense, as goalies continually press their skates against the goal posts, which can cause nicks and dull spots making it difficult to to move around.
Perani's Hockey World is one store that carries the Edge Again, and they can be visited at www.peranis.com. Many thanks to Scott and the helpful staff at Edge Again. Visit their site for more insite and demonstrations of their product at www.edgeagain.com.