I know we all want to have shoulders like Shanahan right? As compared to a lot of pro players today, Shanahan and others appeared to not even be wearing shoulder pads. They were but they wore low profile shoulder pads that were hardly noticeable.
[Pause for public service announcement…hockey is a dangerous sport. You should always be safe, wear proper equipment. You should never modify equipment. I’m not advocating you to wear less equipment as that would be dangerous.]
Most of us are long past our days of playing full body contact hockey. Personally I haven’t worn shoulder pads in well over a decade. Yes, I’ve had the odd puck shaped bruise but otherwise any major damage like breaks and dislocations, large shoulder pads aren’t going to prevent.
If you’re looking for lower profile, Shanahan like, shoulder pads, I have a few options. One is to hunt around on ebay for old school, used shoulder pads. Some companies are manufacturing new low profile pads but they can be hard to come by.
Another option is to make your own by modifying existing shoulder pads. First, find and purchase used shoulder pads that you like. You need to find shoulder pads that have the large hard shoulder cap as a separate attached piece. The only modification you need to make is to simply cut off the large plastic shoulder cap, as you can see in these photos.
What you’re left with are light, low profile shoulder pads that will protect you from an errant puck, slash or crosscheck without feeling like you’re robocop. If you need more shoulder pads than that for your pickup hockey….well maybe you’re playing with the wrong crew?
[edit. A few comments were generated over on a reddit post sharing this.]