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Mrazek seeks help with equipment design

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT – First it was Peter Griffin on his mask, and then it was a pair of epic snowmen on his pads. Now Petr Mrazek is looking for a new design to his gloves and pads, and he’s soliciting ideas from fans on social media.

The Red Wings’ goalie – who started a Twitter account in September – went on the social media platform earlier this week to ask fans to come up with a new look for his gear.

“Me and Scotty (Hughes) from Vaughn had the idea and thought it would be nice if fans would pick my third set of pads,” Mrazek said. “So I’m giving them time to think it over and we’ll come up with a special prize for the winner.”

As of late Thursday afternoon, Mrazek and Vaughn Custom Sports had received 28 entries through Twitter. The deadline for submitting designs is Saturday, Oct. 31.

Mrazek, Hughes and Red Wings equipment manager Paul Boyer will pick the winning design. The winner’s artwork will then be featured on Mrazek’s new gloves and pads, which will debut in a Red Wings’ game sometime in December.

“It’s going to take for a while to finish the design and make them,” Mrazek said.

The goalie said he also has something special planned for the winner.

“I know what it is,” he said, “but maybe next week we’ll show them what it is and they still have a chance to win.”

So far, Mrazek said he’s pleased with the creativity and originality of some of the submissions.“

Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg needed to borrow a pair of practice socks Thursday from the University Liggett hockey team. Fortunately, red is the dominant color in the Knights' uniform. (Photo by Bill Roose/Detroit Red Wings)

Yeah, there are some really nice designs and I can’t wait to see more and more coming and pick the one that I will wear,” he said. “I hope fans will love it. They’re big for us and always huge for us whether it’s at home or on the road. So it’s nice and I’m happy to give them a chance to do it.”

SOCK IT TO ‘EM: With an event scheduled for Joe Louis Arena on Thursday evening, the Red Wings’ morning practice was moved to McCann Ice Arena on the University Liggett School campus in suburban Grosse Pointe Woods.

It’s certainly not an ideal situation for the players who have to get dressed in their equipment at The Joe, then drive 20 minutes up I-94 to practice. It was even worse for Henrik Zetterberg, who forgot some apparel back at The Joe – his hockey socks – Thursday morning.

Luckily, Zetterberg managed to borrow a pair of red and white socks out of the Knights’ locker room. Though, the captain still stuck out among his teammates, as he was only skater not wearing the team-issued solid red variety.

However, it could have been real awkward had Boyer, the Wings’ equipment manager, picked up the first pair of socks he saw when he entered the ULS locker room.

“Brett Abdelnour had Maple Leafs socks, I couldn’t give Henrik those,” Boyer said, laughing. “I grabbed the red and white ones out of Harrison Wujek’s stall.”

PINK OUT: The Red Wings plan to paint The Joe pink on Friday for their ninth annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night when they host the Carolina Hurricanes.

CCM created special black and pink sticks for Breast Cancer Awareness Night, which several of the players, including Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall will use Friday. (Photo by Bill Roose/Detroit Red Wings)

As has become a tradition, all of the Wings’ players will show their support for finding a cure by wrapping their stick handles and blades in pink tape for pre-game warm ups. The players’ sticks will then be auctioned off during the game behind Section 126.

Cancer awareness events at games – from youth teams to the pros – has become quite prevalent in North America. Athletes in all sports at every level typically designate a game or more per season to raise money in the fight against breast cancer, and other diseases, by wearing something pink in their uniforms or equipment.

While the Wings have used pink tape in warm ups for past BCA nights, only goalie Jimmy Howard has worn pink equipment during a game, doing so two years ago against Philadelphia.

But this time Drew Miller and others may reverse the trend for skaters.

“If the blade were pink that would look weird, but this isn’t bad,” said Miller as he inspected his new black and pink sticks from CCM. “I think this will be alright.”

Miller, Tomas Tatar, Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall were among some of the Wings, who received their new sticks, which feature pink lettering on a black shaft and blade.

CCM is the only stick manufacturer that shipped the special sticks to the Red Wings this week. All of the guys who have CCM sticks received six of them, so the Wings could use them for Hockey Fights Cancer on Oct. 30.

Miller said he might wrap one of the new CCM sticks in pink tape (for the auction) and use black tape on a second stick for the game.

“I don’t think it will be that big of a deal,” he said.

Lets see if others follow Miller’s lead.

Aside from the players’ pre-game sticks, the Wings will auction off other unique items during the game including a 2013-14 team-signed Winter Classic replica jersey; defenseman Brendan Smith’s tickets to the Red Wings home game on Nov. 10 against Washington with a post-game meet and greet; a 2015-16 team-signed Jimmy Howard goalie stick; and more.

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