The 10 Worst Tape Jobs In Hockey
From beer leagues to the NHL, taping the stick is often considered to be a holy pre-game ritual for almost every player. The tape job (or "TJ" for short) needs to be perfect, done the same way, to the same length, with the same amount of overlap, and with the perfect amount of wax, no exceptions.
Some players do this because the tape on their blade gets torn throughout each game, but in reality, it's done for one reason only: style points.
To others, tape jobs are just something they have to do because their coach told them about it one time when they were eight years old playing in mites. In this article, we're celebrating these players (sort of) by bringing you ten of the most brutal tape jobs in hockey.
#10. "Just The Tip" featuring Nikita Scherbak
Taping only the middle to the toe of the blade has been made famous by Alexander Ovechkin (a TJ more commonly referred to as "The Ovi"). Nikita Scherbak takes The Ovi and cuts in half by taping just the tip of toe. With this tape job, who cares if you can't catch a pass, you'll be pulling off toe drags better than anyone else on the ice.
#9. "The More, The Merrier" featuring Patrick Sharp
Photo Credit Andrew Dieb, Icon Sportswire
The general idea when taping the stick blade is to, well, just cover the blade. Patrick Sharp not only tapes the entire blade, but he just keeps on going. You never know when you're going to have to handle the puck off the hosel and shaft, I suppose.
#8. "50 in 07" featuring Dany Heatley
Photo Credit: Jeff Gross, Getty Images
Yeah, he once scored 4 goals in an All Star game. Yeah, he was a 50 goal scorer each year between '05-'06 and '06-'07, too - but he has a pretty wild TJ. Just three strips down the middle brings out some flair resembling that of Bobby Orr, but the awkward overlap near the heel will set off any stick tape perfectionist's O.C.D.
#7. The "Candy Cane" featuring Phil Kessel
Photo Credit: Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports
Now, the "Candy Cane" has been around for a very long time because, back in the day, players didn't have access to today's composite sticks with that new-fangled GripTac™ shaft texture. They had to either put up with the smooth texture of wood or apply stick tape down the shaft (resembling a candy cane) to give them a better grip at a cost of a slightly heavier shaft. Nowadays, it's probably ten times harder to find a stick that doesn't have grip than one that does, so it's pretty funny how guys like Phil Kessel or James Van Riemsdyk are still wasting half a roll of tape on each of their sticks in 2016.
#6. "BladeTape" featuring Meghan Agosta
Photo Credit: Petr David Josek, AP Photo
Meghan Agosta of Team Canada is a brand ambassador for the stick "tape" company called BladeTape. This tape alternative is made of two rubber stickers that lay on the forehand and backhand faces of the blade and are designed to repel water and improve stick handling. While this sounds good on paper, in action, these fail the mirror test big time as they just look pretty ridiculous. They are a surefire way to get chirped by your opponents all game long. Just stick to cloth tape, it's not that bad!
#5. "The Hilt of Excalibur" featuring Brent Seabrook
This handle TJ is more rare than a spirit bear as it may be the first and only of its kind. It's so awkward-looking that it's practically a work of art. Let's break this one down - Seabrook is a big guy (6'3"), so it's no surprise he needs a shaft extension. Instead of getting a regular ol' 4" composite extension plug, he uses a tapered piece of wood that fits flush into the top of the shaft and gets thinner the higher it goes. Then, instead of having a knob at the top of the handle, he uses one at the bottom of his hand like King Arthur's Excalibur.
#4 "Stick Tape? Never Heard Of It" featuring Bobby Orr
Bobby Orr might have been one of the first to use a "minimalist" tape job - simply two strips of tape near the heel of the blade for puck handling. I'm pretty sure the puck is at least twice as wide as the tape, so it's highly unlikely this tape is actually serving a purpose. It's ironic how one of the best defensemen to ever play the game could also one of the worst with a roll of tape - when he'd even use it.
No tape, no problem.
#3. The "Roller Daddy" featuring Kevin Fiala
Photo Credit: Frederick Breedon, Getty Images
Generally seen being used by the kid on your summer roller hockey team who is too lazy to do just about anything, this TJ is in a world of its own. It gives off the vibe of "I just don't care about stick handling, shooting, or how long my stick will last, I just want to hang out and drink beers with the boys after the game."
Why bother wasting tape on the entire blade when the puck is only going to touch that 1" stripe at the bottom anyways, right?
#2. The "Ovi Meets The Roller Daddy" featuring Artemi Panarin
Photo Credit: Claus Andersen, Getty Images
Some players consider the "half blade to toe" tape job to be one of the most stylish ways to tape their sticks, but Chicago Blackhawks rookie Artemi Panarin completely butchers it. Look closely - he's using a long horizontal strip of thick black tape (otherwise known as the "Roller Daddy") under the white tape. This rookie move of using two colors of tape in two opposite directions gives Panarin one of the worst tape jobs on our list.
#1. "I Got To The Locker Room 3 Minutes Before Puck Drop" featuring Alexander Khokhlachev
His facial expression says it all. This was in the gold medal game for the 2015 World Junior Championship tournament - a game where just about every hockey player would presumably be extra meticulous with their pre-game routine. This looks like Khokhlachev showed up to the locker room as the Zamboni was making its way off the ice. With no time to spare, he must have just grabbed that dirty roll of tape that's been hiding in his bag for the last four years and threw some on in approximately three seconds.
Hopefully you now have a better idea of how NOT to tape your stick before your next game. Remember, this article is just poking a little fun at the pros, so don't be upset if your favorite player made this list - it's all in good humor. When all else fails, just stick with the classics!
Photo Credit: Kim Klement, USA Today Sports