Ask Shinny: Icing, The Lockout, and Goalie Pads

by Shinny Baggataway

Late last Spring, a few brave kids and their parents sent in all kinds of questions about hockey.   It was a lot of fun and I sent out an invitation to ask more questions.  They piled up, but then so did the other work as THW grew.   On Tuesday I got a message from someone who had asked me a question that did not get answered.  She was disappointed and, yes, she still wants an answer because no one seems to be able to explain icing.  Today we are going to talk about icing and the lockout and a few other things that the twelve and under segment of our readership has been wondering about.

So let’s get to it!  

What is icing?
-Allegra S.  age 9,  Hernando, Mississippi

Hi Allegra!

Here is a step by step breakdown of icing:

  1. A player hits the puck on his or her team’s side of the rink.
  2. It goes over the red line in the middle of the rink and travels all the way past the other team’s goal line.
  3. Nobody else touches it.
  4. The referee stops the game and there’s a face off.

The next time some grownup asks about icing and another grownup says, “It’s kind of complicated,” just smile to yourself and keep watching the game.  They’ll figure it out eventually.
-Shinny B.


Dear Shinny,
What is a lockout?  Does it mean the players are locked out of the arena? When will they start playing?  I hope it’s soon!
Your friend,
Joshua K.  age 11, Pembroke, NC

Me too, Josh!

In some ways, a lockout is exactly what the name says.  When the players and the league and owners argue about money, the league cancels training camp, practices, and  games until everyone can agree on how the money is divided.  When this happens, many players go to other leagues until the lockout is over.  This is not the first time it’s happened.  There was a  lockout in 1994 and the entire 2004-05 season was canceled.

It’s hard to say when the lockout will end, but a lot of fans hope to see their favourite players on home ice very soon.
-Shinny B.


Hi Miss Shinny! 
Goalies must get very hot because they always have a water bottle on the net. How much does all that gear weigh?
Drew M, age 12,  Overland Park, KS 

Braden Holtby Capitals
(Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE)

Hi Drew!
The average weight of goalie gear for adults is around 25 pounds or 11 kilos.  Even though most of the fabric used for uniforms is made of material that wicks away sweat and dries fairly quickly, it still collects quite a bit of moisture, causing it to get heavier as the game goes on.

How is that weight distributed?  Helmets and masks weigh around 1.75 pounds to almost three pounds. Thanks to modern technology, pads are a lot lighter than they used to be.  Each leg guard can weigh five to seven pounds. The remaining eight to twelve pounds includes catcher and blocker gloves and chest and arm pads.

In contrast to the featherweight plastics that offer excellent protection, pads were orignally made out of leather that was either rolled and sewn or stuffed with scrap cotton or wool.  The already heavy equipment would get even heaver as it absorbed sweat and water from the ice as they skated, knelt, and dove for the puck.

That’s it for this week.  Have a question about hockey?  Send ’em to .