(Photo by Caps Outsider) Washington area sports fans are walking pretty tall...
Alzner’s New Hybrid Inline Skates
Inline hockey players drooled a bit on Thursday when Karl Alzner tweeted a photo of his new skates. These look to be Bauer ice boots with Mission chassis – something he had made himself. He likely did this because he prefers the feel of the ice boot, which he obviously is more used to, than the slightly different roller boots. Typically, very picky roller hockey players do this with their skates.
Roller hockey seems to be on the decline. USA Hockey stopped insuring it a few years ago, which came as a major blow to the sport. The local league in Laurel is getting smaller as more players opt for ice. So it’s nice to see someone like Alzner tweet out this photo with the hashtag #rollerhockey. That actually means a lot to current players who find themselves in an ever-shrinking league.
In the early 90s, Maryland children who wanted to play ice hockey had limited options. The luckiest of them had their parents drive them to Frederick at 5 a.m. for games or practices. Potomac native and former Caps captain Jeff Halpern was even luckier – his parents went above and beyond to develop his skills, something that simply wasn’t convenient to most hockey-loving children in Maryland.
After Rollerblade took off in the early 90s, hockey lovers who couldn’t get easy ice time opted for street hockey, and even scratched up tennis courts. Through the 2000s, more local rinks opened, including a much improved one in Wheaton to replace the ancient ‘outdoor’ one. With so many ice rinks, who wants roller hockey now?
Alzner does. That’s who.
— Karl Alzner (@KarlAlzner) February 20, 2014