Vegas Golden Knights’ forward Mark Stone has an unorthodox approach when it comes to taping the end of his stick.
Stone’s massive knob – crafted from a combination of hockey tape and medical tape – allows him greater control with one hand on his stick.
“One year in training camp I gave it a try, taping it that way, and I liked it,” Stone told The Athletic back in 2019. “That’s definitely one of those things I’ll never be able to change. Whenever I grab someone else’s stick it just feels so bad.”
Mark Stone’s knob is legit insane. pic.twitter.com/C7hMvvH1rE
— Mike Stephens (@mikeystephens81) June 7, 2023
TNT analyst Anson Carter called out the attention-getting knob as a critical factor in how quickly the Golden Knights’ trainer was able to hand a replacement stick to Stone during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
It seems to work for Stone, but is it legal?
The NHL has specific requirements for goaltenders’ knobs. We’ve seen netminders get busted in the past, often for using the wrong color tape. From 10.2:
In the case of a goalkeeper’s stick, there shall be a knob of white tape or other protective material approved by the League. This knob must not be less than one-half inch (1/2”) thick at the top of the shaft.
Unlike goaltenders, there are no specific requirements nor restrictions around players taping the ends of their sticks.
Rule 10.1 has Stone covered.
Adhesive tape of any color may be wrapped around the stick at any place for the purpose of reinforcement or to improve control of the puck.
Any color. Any place. Presumably, any amount. Looks like that puts Mark Stone in the clear.
That’s not the only quirk Stone has when it comes to sticks. The Athletic’s Jesse Granger also reported back in 2019 that Stone uses a different stick for practice than for games.
“I use a bigger curve in practice, and a smaller curve during games,” Stone said. “It makes my hands feel better in the games because of it.”
“I use a pretty standard curve that I’ve used for my whole NHL career,” he added. “The other one (that I use in practice) feels a little off, so I like feeling a little bit off so that I’m good for the game.”
Stone’s practice sticks are also longer than his game-ready twigs. At 6’3″, Stone would be limited to a 63″ stick during games; players 6’6″ or taller can request an exemption to be able to use a 65″ stick.
No stick shall exceed sixty-three inches (63″) in length from the heel to the end of the shaft […]
Requests for an exception to the length of the shaft (only) may be submitted in writing to and must be approved by the Hockey Operations Department prior to any such stick being used. Only players 6’6” tall or more will be considered for exception. Maximum length of a stick granted an exception under this rule is sixty-five inches (65”).
Of course, there’s no such restriction on stick length in team practices.
“I don’t even know what started it, to be honest with you,” Stone said. “It’s just a mental thing that I’ve always done. I don’t know if I could ever stop if I wanted to.”
(stick-tap to Mike Stephens of The Hockey News for calling this out, and for the visuals)