Professional athletes can be extremely picky about the tools of their trade.
It's no different in hockey, especially when it comes to the feel of a stick.
Sticks are custom-made to each NHL player's specifications, making hockey players no different than baseball players when it comes to equipment. A player can pry open a new crate of sticks, but if one doesn't feel quite right -- like a ball or bat to a pitcher of hitter -- those finely craft sticks won't make it into a game.
Instead of shipping unwanted parcels back to the manufacturers, Wings equipment manger Paul Boyer sends them to Hockeytown Authentics in Troy, where they're available for resale.
"They're made according to the specs that the pros use," Boyer said. "They don't just grab any shaft out of a bin and stamp a name on it. This is actually the real Johan Franzen
Not everyone can possess Henrik Zetterberg
's scoring touch, but you can own an originally stick designed and manufactured for him, as well as other Red Wings, like Franzen, Chris Chelios, Mikael Samuelsson, Kirk Maltby, Brett Lebda, Niklas Kronwall
, Mathieu Schneider, Tomas Kopecky and Chris Osgood. All of the pro sticks sell for $120, except the Osgood goalie sticks, which are marked at $35.
These professional-quality sticks, which aren't normally made available for resale to the public, were made for NHL players and bare the printed names of some of your favorite Red Wings.
The sticks do not carry a warranty, but are not defective either Individual players have just rejected them, often times because they have switched stick patterns or brand names.
Even though professional sticks usually cost much more than those that available to the general public, the Red Wings' sticks at are reasonably priced.
It's a great opportunity for area hockey players to upgrade their equipment to a professional level, but the sticks make an excellent choice for fans and collectors.
Hockeytown Authentics offers one-of-a-kind autographed merchandise and game-used collectibles, including jerseys, gloves and pucks, and all come with certificates of authenticity.
After each game, Boyer certifies game-used equipment and sends it to the Troy store, located on the northwest corner of John R and Big Beaver. For more information, call Hockeytown Auithentics at 248-680-0965.