Many Penguins still frown on Kevlar socks

Defenseman Brooks Orpik is one of the few Penguins who owns a pair of protective socks.

But he’s one of the many who has no intention of wearing them.

“My dad gave me a pair last year, and I can’t say I didn’t like them,” Orpik said before the Penguins faced Winnipeg at the MTS Centre Friday night.

“Because I never tried them.”

Those socks, made primarily of Kevlar, are designed to resist skate-blade cuts, the kind Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson suffered when Penguins winger Matt Cooke’s skate came down on the back of his left leg Wednesday night.

Cooke’s blade sliced through 70 percent of Karlsson’s Achilles tendon, requiring surgery that effectively ended his season.

That incident renewed talk about the socks, much as visors become a prime topic of discussion when a player suffers an eye injury from a stick or puck. Karlsson’s injury, though, didn’t seem to change how most Penguins feels about them.

Right winger Tyler Kennedy acknowledged that discomfort is the main problem players have with the socks, and said that seeing what happened to Karlsson won’t prompt him to try them.

“I guess I’m taking a risk,” he said.

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