49-Year-Old NHL Legend Once Received the Ultimate Five-Word Humiliation for Using a Wooden Stick

Published 02/20/2023, 2:45 PM EST

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Markus Naslund retired from playing ice hockey in 2010, but is still considered one of the great players in the history of hockey. He played for the Swedish Hockey League, before joining the National Hockey League and being drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins. His career in the NHL was a successful one. Yet, even the most successful players get teased by their contemporaries. Naslund was also not immune to being ribbed by his fellow NHL competitors.

This one time, Naslund received a scathing quip from one of his fellow NHL players for using outdated equipment. The five-worded sentence might have been one of the most embarrassing moments for Markus Naslund.

Markus Naslund got mocked for using a wooden stick

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NHL made the shift from purely wooden sticks to composite sticks, which were a combination of different materials to provide flexibility and durability. But, Naslund was one of the last players to still use wooden sticks, even after almost everyone made the change. According to The Hockey Beast, this is exactly why he had to face a harsh comment from a fellow NHL player.

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Naslund, in the After Hours special with CBC, recalled that Dany Heatley once humiliated him for still using a wooden stick. He recalled the incident, saying, “I remember when I was in a face-off when I played against Dany Heatley when he played for Ottawa. He looked at the blade, he looked at the stick, then he followed it up all the way, and he looked at me and said, and he swore, but he said, ‘Are you that beeping old?‘”

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Naslund did finally change his hockey to a newer model before his final match. However, that was way after everyone did. His choice to continue with his trusted wooden stick is what made him the target of mockery on the ice. But surprisingly, while Markus Naslund was one of the last ones to continue with wooden sticks, he wasn’t the only one who preferred them long after others had left them behind.

The wooden hockey stick club

Even after the initial switch to composite sticks, many NHL goalies still preferred using wooden ones. However, this number quickly started to dwindle. By the time we reached 2019, there were only five such players left. Some players were still very sure they would never make the switch to a composite stick. Others, turned to contemporary brands and got custom sticks made.

After a while, all NHL players ultimately had to surrender to the winds of change. They had to adhere to using the new composite sticks. This was because of the acute dearth of companies making wooden sticks. While most of them made the change reluctantly, one thing is sure. They won’t be facing any mockery over using outdated wooden sticks.

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Written by:

Apoorva Behl

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Apoorva Behl is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has a Master's degree in Law from the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi. Besides being a lawyer, she has a passion for reading and a penchant for writing.
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Edited by:

Anupama Ghosh