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'Original Stix' makes use out of broken hockey sticks

DETROIT – Hockey Town has a new way to support hockey thanks to a Detroit born business called "Original Stix."

"I thought it was interesting to take something that was developed for one thing and completely turn it into something new," said 24-year-old Terry Johnson of St. Clair Shores.

He took hockey sticks, broken, busted and used, and turned them into cell phone cases. But why?

Modern hockey players use what's known as composite sticks: The wood is obsolete, which makes recycling them almost impossible.

"In the NHL, every player goes through, on average, 100-180 sticks in an 82-game season," Johnson said. "Those sticks just pile up in a landfill. They cost hundreds of dollars, and there is no viable way to recycle them."

So Johnson and some of his fraternity buddies from Michigan State started Original Stix. They partnered with a hockey stick repair shop in Canada that has a partnership with 30 or 40 teams.

They also get sticks from teams at Penn State, Michigan State and the New York Rangers.

"Last November they sent us 200 hockey sticks, game used by the Rangers," Johnson said. "We turned those into 1,000 cases that are sold at Madison Square Garden."

Johnson is still trying to work a deal with the Red Wings.

Original Stix also sells T-Shirts, jerseys and hockey pucks. Price per case is $39.99 and the company ships to 15 countries so far.

Local retail:
Cellular EMT 21528 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores
Play it Again Sports at 50607 Gratiot in Chesterfield Township
Mitten Sports at Farmington Hills Ice Arena.
Orders can also be placed at originalstix.com.