Was anyone else as struck by these numbers as I was on Friday night as players were sized up during the NHL draft?
Now I know this is the "new NHL" where speed is of the utmost importance. But some of these guys are bean poles, tooth picks, or as one draft expert put it, "I couldn't see him until he came out from behind his hockey stick."
So I couldn't help but wonder, what goes on at the NHL combine? We've all heard about the NFL combine where guys bench 220 lbs as many times as they can... they even televise each vein popping rep on the NFL Network.
But what about the NHL combine? What are they benching over there? Broomsticks? Veggie Delights from Subway?
Here are some good reads about the NHL Combine:
Some more from The Dispatch:
The true torture is spared to the end: two exercises referred to collectively as "the bike."
From age 12, hotshot players who dream of playing in the NHL start fearing "the bike." Even 10 years after, NHL players still talk about it.
The first "bike" exercise is a 30-second power test. The player's feet are duct-taped to the pedals, the resistance is cranked up to between 15 and 22 pounds -- depending on the player's body weight -- and it begins.
The players pedal madly for 30 seconds. They can't stand up to drive the pedals, either.
"I'm burning up," prospect Brendan Smith said as he finished. "I can't see straight."
"That's normal," he was told.
In 2001, Fredrik Sjostrom, later drafted in the first round by the Phoenix Coyotes, passed out and fell off the bike.
"He was out cold before he hit the ground," one scout said.
And that's only the first bike test. The second looks like a creation out of Frankenstein.
Next to each of the four bikes is a large steel canister, used to measure oxygen output, and two computers used to analyze carbon dioxide and oxygen.
Before a player steps on the bike, a large plastic hose is fitted into his mouth. His shoes are again duct-taped to the pedals.
During the next 10 to 20 minutes, the players are put through grueling tests to measure how much oxygen capacity they possess. How long they last depends on how long it takes them to maximize their oxygen intake.
The viewing of this test could be rated R. In some cases, NC-17.
Players vomit. Mucus flies out of their noses. Their faces turn flush red and sweat pours out of every pore, as they double over the handles of the bike.
But what about the bench press? It looks like 135 lbs... what most football players were benching when they were twelve.
Check out these two great YouTube videos for a look inside the 2007 NHL Combine. You can see the bike test around the 30 second mark in the second video. Can you imagine a offensive lineman doing this?