The Many Bauers of Brock Nelson

By Matt Stathopoulos


The Many Bauers of Brock Nelson
New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson is not just making waves on the ice this season, he's also creating intrigue with his ever-changing choice of Bauer hockey sticks. 

As he navigates through what has been another stellar season, some may have noticed a peculiar pattern of stick switching, leaving many scratching their heads and pondering the significance behind his choices. 

Nelson’s performance has been commendable, even though he may not surpass his career-high point total of 75 from the previous season. Nevertheless, his current tally of 61 points is more than admirable. With six games remaining in the season, there’s anticipation about how close he might come to his personal best. 

However, amidst his on-ice achievements, it’s Nelson’s stick shuffling that has captured attention. Throughout the season, Nelson has been spotted promoting various Bauer models, including the Proto R, Nexus Sync, AG5NT and HyperLite 2. Each stick seems to make a cameo at some point, prompting speculation among fans and pundits alike. 

The question begs to be asked: Assuming these sticks are built with his preferred construction and only dressed differently, why the constant changes? Some may attribute it to mere aesthetic preferences or curiosities, but others wonder if there’s more at play. Could there actually be subtle differences in specifications between these seemingly identical sticks? Or does Nelson’s superstition dictate his choice, favoring one stick over another based on intangible factors? 

One particularly notable instance occurred when Nelson predominantly used a stick adorned with all-black Bauer Nexus Sync graphics from late January to the end of March, only to switch to one featuring all-black HyperLite 2 graphics during a recent game. To the uninitiated, such a change may seem inconsequential, but to Nelson, it could hold profound significance. 

The fascination surrounding Nelson’s stick selection extends beyond mere curiosity. It opens another window into the intricate world of professional hockey players’ rituals and idiosyncrasies. Hockey players, like many athletes, are known for their superstitions and preferences, and Nelson’s stick saga possibly exemplifies this phenomenon. 

Of course, there are other factors to consider. Bauer’s influence on Nelson’s stick choices cannot be discounted, as the company may have a strategic plan to promote certain models during specific games. Additionally, there’s a possibility that subtle variations exist between these sticks, prompting Nelson to experiment with different options. 

In the end, Nelson’s stick saga leaves us with more questions than answers, but therein lies the allure. It underscores the mystique and complexity of the athlete’s psyche, reminding us that even the smallest details can hold significance in the world of professional sports. As fans, we may never fully understand the reasoning behind Nelson’s stick choices, but we can appreciate the intrigue they generate and the excitement they add to the game.

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