The most eagerly anticipated arrival in Western New York this summer was that of Jack Eichel. He made his on-ice debut with the Sabres at their annual development camp and while his number hadn’t been decided when he took the ice, his decision on equipment was.
Eichel appears to be continuing to wear the same equipment he did at Boston University and through a photo on the Sabres Facebook page, we also know what he wears as protective equipment as well.
Protective: CCM Ultra Tacks – Eichel sports CCM Ultra Tacks shoulder pads and elbow guards, which utilizes CCM’s new D3O technology which minimizes weight while maximizing protection. Floating spine and sternum protectors ensure additional protection in key areas on the shoulder pads. The elbow pads utilizes the same D3O technology and molded foam armor as the shoulder pads.
Helmet: Bauer IMS 9.0 – Possibly the most comfortable helmet in Bauer’s line. A strong combination of the best features of the ever popular 4500 and the newest technology in the IMS helmets. Poron XRD foam reinforcements and a VN Foam liner ensure maximum comfort in addition to impressive protection.
Skates: Bauer Supreme TotalOne MX3 – The flagship skate of the Supreme line is a lightweight, powerful skate built on an anatomic fit profile that utilizes CURV composites for an unparalleled fit.
Stick: Bauer Supreme TotalOne MX3 – Like the MX3 skates, the TotalOne stick is a perfect combination of power and strength. Eichel’s game is often described as a smooth combo of those exact traits, as his heavy shot is one of the hallmarks of his game and was on display early during development camp.
Gloves: Warrior Covert QR1 – One of the only non-Bauer items Eichel wears is the responsive, anatomically designed QR1 gloves. The QR1 introduces new features such as the Axis Flex thumb for increased dexterity in addition to the previous features from the original DT1 gloves which provided a tapered, responsive fit.
Both Bauer athletes, Jonathan Toews and Steven Stamkos utilize similar pieces of Bauer gear, although they’re hardly uniform in the choices they make.
Bauer 4500 helmet – A favorite amongst many NHLers, the 4500 is short on frills but long on comfort. The VN foam liner is the type used by nearly every player in the NHL and the 4500’s classic look means it passes the mirror test 10 out of 10 times.
Bauer Supreme TotalOne NXG gloves – An elite faceoff man and sublime offensive threat, Toews relies on the snug, tapered fit of the TotalOne line. While he hasn’t graduated to the new TotalOne MX3 gloves just yet, the TotalOne NXG isn’t short on features. The anatomically designed fit gives a tight fit on the back of the hand that is reinforced with Bauer’s Poron XRD foam. The three-piece index finger and pro segmented cuff are ideal for mobility and responsiveness and perfect for a player whose puck handling, shooting and passing are the highlights of his skillset.
Bauer Vapor APX2 skates – Bauer’s elite skate line, the APX2 is ultra-lightweight and the preferred skate of countless pros and elite players. The X-Rib design stabilizes the boot with additional stiffness and structure while the Curv composite boot construction ensures massive weight savigns. The APX2 also introduced Bauer’s new Lightspeed Edge TUUK that features a quick change trigger for easy steel replacement.
Bauer Nexus 8000 – The Nexus line is designed for a balanced look and feel compared to the durable, power of the Supreme line and the lightweight agility of the Vapor line. The Nexus remains incredibly light and utilizes a mid-kick profile that is not unlike that of the TotalOne stick. The Pure Shot blade profile promotes a stiffer blade profile to prevent twisting on passes or shots, creating a more accurate release time after time.
Bauer 4500 helmet – Like Toews, Stamkos uses the classic 4500 helmet. The classic design is low key and the helmet’s profile is narrow. You can’t go wrong in the looks department with the 4500.
Bauer Supreme TotalOne NXG gloves – Like his fellow captain, Stamkos chooses the TotalOne NXG gloves on a nightly basis. One of the league’s elite pure scorers, Stamkos likely favors the snug, responsive fit that the TotalOne’s anatomic design offers. These are a perfect glove for snipers who prefer their glove and hand to move as one while they pick corners on the powerplay.
Bauer Vapor 1X skates – Graduating to the newest release from Bauer, Stamkos certainly sees benefits from the lightest skate that Bauer offers at this time. The Vapor 1X skates utilizes Bauer’s revolutionary new 37.5 material in the liner to assist in moisture absorption and evaporation. Bauer has improved on the X-rib design from the APX line while still utilizing super light Curv composite through the entire boot. The Lightspeed Edge remains as the holder but a new blade provides a better angle of attack than previous offerings.
Bauer Supreme TotalOne MX3 stick – As one of the league’s best scorers, Stamkos often capitalizes on off wing slap shots on the powerplay. His heavy, lethal shot is enhanced by the TotalOne MX3 stick thanks to the mid-kick and double concave construction. The double concave taper is designed to minimize torsion during shots to not only increase accuracy but to create improved power transfer through the shaft.
After over 1100 games, we have finally reached the peak of the NHL season. The Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning survived seven-game series in their respective Conference Finals in order to advance to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.
It’s a tale of two teams as the Blackhawks return to the final for the third time since 2010 while the Lightning return for their second ever Stanley Cup appearance. Chicago has carved out a true dynasty – or as close to a dynasty that you can come to – in the salary cap era. The Blackhawks three Cup appearances include an addition to two Conference Final defeats (2009 & 2014) to pair with seven-straight playoff berths.
Tampa Bay came within one game of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, losing out to Boston at the TD Garden but have not seen such success since. Their first round exit last year at the hands of Montreal ended a two-year playoff drought. However, Tampa’s skilled core is similar to that of the Blackhawks as both teams have built through the top and middle of the draft effectively while supplementing their rosters via the trade market.
Why Tampa Will Win
Tampa Bay boasts the most lethal line in this year’s playoffs and Steven Stamkos isn’t even part of the trio. The Triplets – comprised of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat – have driven the Bolts through the first three rounds as Johnson appears to be a strong favorite for the Conn Smythe. Stamkos, along with Alex Killorn and Valteri Flippula gives Tampa an impressive one-two punch that has been very difficult to defend.
Victor Hedman has been a handful in each round as he’s played a 200-foot game and has been in on a number of vital scoring plays thus far. He’s been eating minutes for the Lightning but hasn’t been overloaded thanks to John Cooper’s penchant for dressing seven defensemen.
The seven defensemen, 12 forwards line up has allowed Cooper to limit matchups and stay in control of who his players are on the ice against and when. It has also given the Lightning an extra option on the back end in case of injury or poor play. While the decision is certainly unique, it has paid off in spades for the Bolts thus far.
Ben Bishop would probably be given the edge by most in the goaltending matchup this series and he’ll need to come through in the clutch to push Tampa Bay to their second Cup championship. He has had his struggles this postseason but has also shut things down when necessary. He may be the most important piece for Tampa as they enter the series.
Why Chicago Will Win
The Blackhawks are a well read book at this point. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook and company have all walked this path before. Nearly this exact roster was one goal from playing in the Cup Final last year and nothing should be expected to shake this group at this point.
Like Tampa Bay, Chicago’s depth makes them difficult to defend. When you can pick from a group of Toews, Kane, Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Andrew Shaw, Brandon Saad, Teuvo Teravainen, Antoine Vermette and Brad Richards, things are going well. The Hawks sport more than their fair share of 200-foot players and don’t be surprised to see one of Tampa’s two big lines shutout for most of this series.
The only potential hiccup for the Hawks could come on the backend. Keith, Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya have seen big minutes through the first three rounds and that isn’t about to change. While the Hawks have rotated others through, they’ve played four defensemen for a majority of their series. Should that fatigue factor catch up to them, it could be a problem. However, Duncan Keith may or may not be a hockey cyborg who does not tire, so don’t bet against that group just yet.
Corey Crawford’s play this postseason has been erratic. He was pulled from the Nashville series only to retake the net and lead a comeback in the first round. He has been solid but not spectacular through the second and third rounds and now faces another strong offensive group. Should he continue his strong play, he’ll tip the scales in Chicago’s favor. If he struggles, there may not be enough runway left for the Blackhawks to recover.
This ought to be an incredibly fun series. The Lightning have shown the ability to adapt to their opponents and play a very entertaining game. Chicago has been here and done that, but their impressive skillset makes them an easy favorite. While many will be quick to point to the goaltending as the biggest showdown, how Tampa handles Chicago’s depth is what will set this series apart for me.
If the Bolts manage to keep The Triplets and the Stamkos line clicking, they might just run away with the Cup. But if Chicago silences even one of those two groups, it will be an easy win for the Windy City. I’m not betting against the Blackhawks depth, Chicago in 7.
Bauer’s Flexorb technology isn’t left out of the Supreme MX3 shoulder pads as strategic sternum reinforcement utilized the same Flexorb pad construction as the TotalOne gloves and protective line. Additional protection throughout the unit features Vent Armor padding for a lightweight, breathable protective layer.
Vent Armor is featured prominently on the shoulder pad unit as the padding is utilized throughout the chest, shoulder caps and ribs. The reinforced rib and kidney areas are particularly protective as the pads wrap around in prominent areas thanks to the anatomic design.
Bauer has also built their new 37.5 technology into the unit to ensure maximum comfort and a quick drying, odor control system. 37.5 technology enhances moisture evaporation to not only keep players cool, but to keep equipment from gaining weight due to wetness from sweat.
With the anatomic design of the MX3 equipment, the shoulder pads move as one with the player wearing them with little excess movement or sliding. This is enhanced by Bauer’s new strap lock system and integrated sleeve lock. This is a new feature that combines strategic, traditional strap placement with a sleeve insert that is attached directly to the padding. The sleeve lock on the shoulder pads is built into the bicep guard to ensure the arms of the pads move in unison at all times.
Maximizing range of motion while maintaining superior protection is the hallmark of the Supreme MX3 protective line. The MX3 shoulder pads achieve this in a number of ways, making them a tremendous choice for players of any level.
CCM Tacks protective — UltraTacks gloves, shoulders shins and elbows
Among the many innovative features being introduced to the hockey world by CCM this year, few are more impressive than their new D3O technology.
Almost a direct answer to Bauer’s Poron XRD foam that’s featured in the company’s helmets and protective equipment, the D3O technology is featured in specific impact areas of each piece of the new CCM Tacks protective line.
The D3O foam is designed to absorb high impact collisions while remaining soft and flexible. Upon impact, the foam contracts and then redirects the energy away from your body. Ultimately the foam is made to reduce the direct force felt by each hit.
CCM features the D3O foam in each shoulder cap of the Tacks shoulder pads, the kneecap of the shin guards and the elbow cap of the elbow pads, the hip section of the pants and the backhand and fingers of the gloves.
The Tacks protective line also features a new ventilated armor system that is easily noticeable on the chest portion of the shoulder pads, the bicep guards on the elbow pads and the interior portions of the pants. The molded foam armor is included in the 6052, 4052 and 2052 models while the 6052 shoulder pads also utilizes the new D3O lined shoulder caps.
In fact, the 6052 line is one of the best value buys in all of hockey as each model not only features the D3O foam but also nearly every other feature of the Ultra Tacks models.
The Ultra Tacks shin pads are built with an anatomical calf wrap reinforced with HD foam while both the 6052 and Ultra Tacks shin guards have a new neoprence lock strap which differs from any used in previous years. Ideally, the neoprene wrapped strap won’t lose elasticity nearly as fast as the moisture-repellent reinforcement will keep the elastic strap dry and fresh.
While the pants don’t differ much from the RBZ line with the +1” adjustment feature and the floating HD back protector. The new Ultra Tacks gloves, however, feature pro-level protection with the D3O reinforced back hand and fingers and the snug backhand fit opens to a mobile cuff for improved mobility.
The entire Tacks line brings a new set of options for CCM fans while pulling from some of the newest technology in the entire industry. Great Skate carries the entire CCM Tacks protective line both in store and online.
Spring is a time for flowers to bloom, the snow to melt and for new hockey equipment to hit the shelves.
While almost everyone in the northeast is ready for the thaw to come, hockey players have only one thing on their mind; what new products do we have to look forward to for next season? April is the time when many of these new products are released – or announced – for the next season.
This spring is not different as there will be many new, exciting products in stock and ready to ship out by mid-April. These products will be available in store and online by April 20, 2015.
Many players are eagerly anticipating the new Bauer Vapor equipment as the new Bauer 1X skates will be available soon. The new Vapor 1X skates feature a brand new Form Fit Lite felt tongue that gives a pro look while providing peak protection thanks to a CURV composite insert. The ankle and upper on the boot are fully composite as well, giving the boot a massive weight reduction while maintaining rigidity.
The 1X skates feature a new footbed designed to increase the amount of contact made between your foot and the skate, thus maximizing explosiveness compared to other skate models. When combined with the higher angle of attack from the Lightspeed Edge holder, the skate really promotes explosive traits. The Vapor 1X skates promise to be a hot item this spring as the new features have pushed the Vapor skate line to the next level.
Bauer has also redesigned the Bauer Supreme protective lineto include Bauer’s FlexOrb padding inserts in key protective areas. The line, which is designed to provide a snug, anatomical fit, features FleXorb inserts in key areas on the knee joint, elbow joint and sternum region.
The new Supreme equipment (and the 1X skates) also feature Bauer’s revolutionary 37.5 technology that represents a brand new type of moisture wicking material. The 37.5 material won’t just keep you cool and dry during a game, but it is specifically designed to dry itself, which means your gear will stay fresh longer and eliminate smelly rooms full of gear.
As the CCM transition hits high gear, the current Ribcor stick and skate line will become CCM products and there will be a new CCM Ribcor stick hitting the shelves this fall. CCM will also be introducing the new CCM Jetspeed skates as the successor to the very popular RBZ skate line. The Jetspeed skates won’t be on the shelves until July of this year and CCM will have a brand new RBZ stick this fall as well. The Speedburner won’t be available until August, however. We got a sneak peak at the new Speedburner stick and we’ll have a write up on that soon, so stay tuned for that.
One additional entry for 2015-16 will be the new CCM Tacks Protectiveline. The new protective line from CCM highlights the new D3O technology being used all over new CCM products. The D3O technology is featured in specific impact areas of each piece of the new CCM Tacks protective line. The new Ultra Tacks gloves are unique in look and next-level in terms of protection, much like the entire line.
The entire Tacks line brings a new set of options for CCM fans while pulling from some of the newest technology in the entire industry. Great Skate carries the entire CCM Tacks protective line both in store and online.
Easton has steadily ramped up their production away from their sticks and will continue that trend with a new line of protective gear for this season. Easton’s new gear will hit the shelves in May along with the new Easton Stealth which revives the old name with new technology.
The new Easton Stealth CX will feature the elliptical taper profile that debuted on the S17 stick line while introducing a stiffer, more durable blade construction. The commitment to the blade profile is evident as there are a number of new features built into the blade construction of the CX stick.
Easton will also utilize the Hyperlite Design feature to shave weight from the stick in order to increase performance. As a stick line that has long defined elite, lightweight stick design, the new Stealth CX will most certainly continue that tradition.
The new kid on the block, STX broke in with a strong first showing last year as the Stallion and Surgeon sticks and gloves won over fans of the lacrosse giant. Now, STX is ready to step up their game. There will be a new STX stick line that releases in September. Additionally, STX is ready to introduce the Stallion and Surgeon protective line in a few weeks.
The new line will carry on the Stallion and Surgeon names that adorn STX’s entry into the stick and glove market. With the Stallion line geared more towards a heavier, durable game, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Stallion protective equipment follow the same design standards. In a similar manner, I’d expect the Surgeon – which shared many traits with the Bauer Vapor line – to carry on in that vein as well.
The fun starts in just a couple of weeks as the newest toys to hit the market will be hitting the Great Skate shelves. We guarantee the lowest prices on any US Manufacturer authorized web site which means you can shop with confidence at www.greatskate.com.
A new study from the Virginia Tech Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics has shown that many hockey helmets are deemed unsafe with regard to concussion prevention. The study, highlighted by ESPN’s Outside the Lines this past weekend, indicated that many hockey helmets fall below the standard set by the Virginia Tech rating system.
Concussions and concussion prevention are already a very touchy subject these days as injury prevention is being taken at every level of the sport and manufacturers are researching new technologies in an attempt to make players safer on the ice. However, this new report shows that each manufacturer needs to keep pushing.
The STAR rating system works on a scale of one-to-five, with five being the highest. Of the 32 helmets Virginia Tech tested, only one met the standard for three star protection. The other 31 helmets were either rated at two, one or zero stars.
The Warrior Krown 360 helmet was the lone helmet to rate at three stars, showing that it offers the most protection from impacts that can result in a concussion. The CCM Resistance 300 and 100, Bauer 5100 and 2100, the Warrior Krown LTE and the CCM Fitlite (previously the Reebok 11K) each tested at two stars.
Bauer RE-AKT 100
Warrior Krown 360
Bauer IMS 7.0
Bauer IMS 11.0
CCM/Reebok Fitlite (11K)
Bauer IMS 9.0
CCM Resistance 300
CCM Resistance 100
Warrior Krown LTE
Now, it’s important to remember that no helmet can prevent concussions altogether. Collisions or impacts that cause concussions seem to vary on a case-by-case and player-to-player basis. A fairly innocent bump along the board may not concuss me but it will concuss you. Conversely, a monster hit in open ice may not be as concussive as the impact caused when you fall to the ice after the hit.
The variables and differences in each of these cases make the marketing (from manufacturers) and the results of this test difficult to process. For example, the test itself was studying the results from direct impact to the head. This can be caused from everything from a tumble into the boards or net, an errant stick or puck to the head or even an opponent’s body part. What’s hard to identify is if (or how) Virginia Tech studies the results of hits that don’t impact the head. For example, a heavy open ice hit may not cause any direct impact to a player’s head, but the g-force caused by the check itself could still result in a concussive impact to the brain. This is why it is so important to consider both linear and rotational impacts (as the testing did).
Of course, the latter scenario is also a perfect example of how no helmet could truly prevent a concussion.
The other side of the coin here is how helmets are being marketed by manufacturers. The highest price point models consistently introduce new shell construction and interior upgrades. Yet, the study didn’t rate any elite model at higher than two stars – except for the Krown 360. Further, the test showed that different helmet models, which all share the same shell mold, performed at drastically different levels. The best example is the Bauer 5100 and 2100 garnering two stars while the 7500 was given one star and the 9900 was not recommended. Each of these helmets share a similar, if not identical shell design yet each performed at a different level in the testing environment. It’s an odd conundrum without taking the liner materials into consideration.
There are a few things that need to be taken away from these results. First, the HECC stickers that adorn all of the hockey helmets sold at Great Skate are not irrelevant. The HECC ratings are primarily focused on preventing injuries such as skull fractures. While a HECC sticker doesn’t ensure a helmet is concussion-proof, it doesn’t mean a helmet is unsafe either. Second, these ratings help to identify which helmets prevent against both linear and rotational impacts. This means that the tests identify more than just what happens if your head is struck by a stick or the boards. It works to identify the various types of events can potentially cause concussions. Lastly, no helmet can prevent concussions. The helmet industry as a whole is nowhere near finding the answer for this, so bear in mind that there isn’t a magical helmet on the horizon that will keep you safe in all scenarios.
What is important is for the industry to adjust to this study. Companies like Bauer, Warrior and CCM/Reebok need to step forward and do more than offer spin on the results. Each company should not only begin to take steps to make their helmets safe, but they should be displaying their STAR ratings in catalogs and on the boxes for each helmet.
If you’re looking to upgrade your helmet from what you’re currently wearing, Great Skate sells nearly every helmet utilized in the study, including the Warrior Krown 360, which received the highest rating of three stars.
CCM is the legendary hockey brand fueled by endless pursuit of
performance. For over a century, CCM has been there for players from the first time they step on ice to the pinnacle of their careers. Today, CCM continues to draw inspiration from its rich history by offering the innovation and performance that will help write the next chapter in the history of the game.
The only way to reach JetSpeed is with our new RocketFrame technology. The composite shell was meticulously designed to wrap closely around the foot and greatly improve heel lock. From there, the lightest components were carefully selected to complement the RocketFrame and provide maximum foot speed. The RocketFrame Composite is a fully shaped composite shell provides advanced
contoured support including improved heel lock for maximum speed. JetSpeed Tongue is designed with the pro in mind, multi layer
construction for enhanced lace bite protection without sacrificing comfort. Heat Moldedale Speedcore 2 Plus Optimized contour shape with heat moldable technology that allows customized support for unique foot shape.
Check out the new Jetspeed Skates exclusively at Greatskate.com. CCM Jetspeed Skates coming in July!
The hype behind the new Bauer Vapor 1X Hockey Skates will be over on April 24, 2015 when it becomes available to the consumers! Here is a sneak peak of what is to come along with the product detail of the New Vapor 1X Skate.
Form Fit Lite Felt Tongue with CURV Insert: Combination of 52oz
and 40oz felt tongue construction improves overall integration of skate and foot. Lightweight construction pushes the skate to new extremes of weight reduction. The Curv composite inserts provide a higher level of protection and increased support. 37.5 Liner: Revolutionary liner technology helps regulate the core body
temperature of the player keeping your foot dry and locked in place for complete control. Fabrics with 37.5™ Technology dry up to 5X faster than similar fabrics.
Alumunized Curv Composite Upper and Curv Ankle Support: Driven from the OD1N performance lab, a new
boot construction sets a new standard of on-ice performance and out-of-the-box customization. The combination of lighter weight Curv® composite and updated X-Rib pattern, improves heel and ankle lock allowing players to cross over quicker and turn tighter.
Bauer Speed Plate: Industry leading proprietary technology, the
BAUER SPEED PLATE™ features a recovery alloy technology providing the player with revolutionary customized fit haracteristics for the entire foot; allowing the skate to become a part of the foot enables the player to achieve optimized balance and stability resulting in higher top end speed.
Bauer Tuuk LS4 Runner: Elite grade of stainless steel provides superior on-ice performance through maximizing energy transfer and superior surface finish for a cleaner, stronger sharpening edge. An additional 3mm in profile height allows for a greater angle of attack to turn tighter and get to the puck quicker.
CCM is the legendary hockey brand fueled by endless pursuit of performance. For over a century, CCM has been there for players from the first time they step on ice to the pinnacle of their careers. Today, CCM continues to draw inspiration from its rich history by offering the innovation and performance that will help write the next chapter in the history of the game.
The brand new Ultra Tacks is the lightest, best balanced, and most durable stick we have ever created. The new Ultra Attack Frame blade is incredibly light without sacrificing torsional or bending stiffness, so you have a lightweight product with amazing precision and accuracy. The innovative Bumper Technology reinforces the corners of the shaft for outstanding durability and consistency.
The ULTRA ATTACK FRAME is the lightest blade we have ever made but still provides very high levels of both torsional and bending stiffness. The result is an incredibly light and well balanced product with more accuracy, better precision, and amazing consistency.