The NHL is currently hosting its second annual Research, Development and Orientation camp. Among the potential new rules and updated safety regulations being tested are the benefits of curved glass to eliminate the pointed, 90-degree intersection of the glass at either end of the players benches.
The curved glass should protect players much better than the thin padding currently masking the sharp corners. The glass is designed to deflect players back into play should they run into it. There is no need for padding as the the glass itself gives in about an inch and half upon impact before bouncing back into place. NHL Facilities Operation Manager Dan Craig explains:
"The curve itself is a continuation of the straight line from the glass and then it bends around," Craig said. "There is no place to put a pad. If you put a pad there, you create a hazard of having a shoulder stick and twist because this is a free-flowing system. If you're coming down the wall at the players' bench and there is contact, your shoulder will deflect off of that and you'll continue into the play."
For more news from the NHL's Research camp, stay tuned to our storystream.