For those of you who are not aware of it's existence, d3o is a new material being developed for impact protection. It is super lightweight, and malleable, so it would be a perfect fit for the many different pads designed for hockey players.
After the jump I will post some more links to youtube vidoes, why this product should be directly applied to hockey, and why the league needs to start investing in this product sooner rather than later.
I think this first link really explains it all. Skip to 0:50 to see the host hit this "bloke" over the head with a shovel. The shovel is coated with a layer of d3o to show it's protective ability. He doesn't even wince. Seriously, that's awesome. Imagine what this technology could do for helmet padding. I don't know if the brain would still be able to withstand concussions, as I am not a Dr or scientist by any means, but it's still very cool.
Later in that same video, the host hits the guy in the knee with the shovel, and what would normally be very painful, looked like it was delightful. Again, if we apply this to knee/shin guards, imagine the possibilities for blocking shots. Couple this with the fact that the material is super lightweight and the game gets a lot faster.
They drop an egg on d3o from about 1.5 meters, and it bounces off. It's not the best video ever, as the comments suggest, nor is it very conclusive. But just thinking about adding this to the outside of gloves and having the material absorb a slash from an opponent. This would give players more time to worry about controlling the puck, thus making offensive cycling and rushes more exciting or prolonged.
If you want to see more about d3o, just navigate the suggested youtube videos, or do a google search. There is a lot out there about this new protective tech.
Other than the previously mentioned reasons, d3o, would be a great addition to the game because of it's ability to protect and be lightweight. Adding d3o to any protective gear, or replacing the standard padding in gear with d3o, would be a huge benefit to the game. Players would be able to skate as if they were not wearing pads, and I am sure someone like Darroll Powecould really fly. In addition to being able to speed the game up, players could play with more recklessabandon. Thus, bigger-heavier hits. Chris Pronger could throw bows more often, and possibly get away with it as those embellishing douche bags, would probably not even flinch.
I can also see the detriment to the game, I.E. the lack of punishment for being in front of the net, or driving the net, etc. However, I don't think the NHL heads of state care about that. They want excitement, they want speed, they need d3o.
I am not even going to go into too much detail as to why this material would be great for protecting goalies. But using it as an underlying layer (that way we don't impede the absorbability of the current pad material, d3o would benefit goalies so that they do not need to worry about slapshots stinging, and can make the play. d3o would also lighten the load on goalies, adding to their quickness and adding more exciting saves in game.
I am not a spokesman for d3o. I am however, a skilled salesman. Haha.