Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hockey Brands That Rock!

Hockey brands of today are becoming less easy to distinguish from one another.  Why would this be true if you still see the big names out there?  The reason is because most hockey equipment is now under one roof.  The names may be the same, but the ownership is not.  Yeah that's right, you thought you were buying CCM skates, but you really are buying Reebok skates.  As Reebok now owns CCM.  It's all under one roof as I said earlier.  Now obviously, for sales purposes, they try and keep the styles seperate.  You'll find a certain type of Reebok skate and a certain type of CCM skate.  Your money though is going to go to the same company.  You think its just  Reebok, think again.  More and more companies have merged or are buying one another out.  Lets take a look at a few of them.

Reebok

I already mentioned Reebok, but lets take a look at their hockey gear lineup a little closer.  Their main priority in roller hockey skates are their pump series.  The 10k is considered their top of the line skate.  Now, they also own CCM.  Take note that they don't have a CCM 10k or pump skate.  They have a different type of hockey skate called the Vector.  They also look much different.

Bauer

Everyone knows about Bauer hockey.  What they might not know is that Bauer has owned the Mission brand for a little while now.  As with Reebok and CCM, Bauer and Mission share two different skate types.  Bauers top of the line roller hockey skate is the Vapor RX:60.  It's a very stiff and expensive skate most likely ranging upwards of $600.  Mission's top of the line skate is the Axiom T9 which is close to Vapor price.  I would like to note that Bauer has actually gone and adopted some of the Mission skate's features on their Vapor series.  I'm not sure if Reebok has done the same for their hockey equipment. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hockey Equipment Packages Can Be Good and Bad

Hey everyone I'm going to talk a little bit about hockey equipment packages.  Yeah you read correctly.  We are going to be covering why you both should and should not be on the look out for these so called "deals".  Being that it is the month of December, Christmas is coming up.  What does that mean for hockey players?  well it means that people are going to be looking to buy you some nice hockey gear gifts.  It also means that you probably just got over seeing the whole black friday sales on sports equipment websites.  Am I right?  Of course I am.  How do I know?  I'm a hockey player dummy. I know when and where to buy the latest hockey stuff I've been doing this for over ten years now.

So why exactly are these things good and bad.  Well you know that hockey is an expensive sport and any time you buy alot of equipment, you are probably going to be spending a bunch of money.  If you are like me, you probably aren't super rich and would like to try and get a good deal on some cheap stuff.  Now, I don't know about you, but when I say cheap, I mean cheap in price not in quality.  Unfortunately, there are far too many hockey equipment packages out there that are cheap in quality.  You need to do research and know what you are getting into.  Remember, every single brand out there from a hockey company has different types or levels of hockey gear.

Want an example?  Okay I'll show you one.  Hockey skates are made of different materials.  They are made up of wheels, bearings, and frames.  Now I'm forgetting the boot, but that doesn't matter a whole lot as these three things generally make up the bulk of the price on the skate you choose.  Lets take a skate that has abec 3 bearings, extremely hard outdoor wheels, and a plastic frame.  Now, lets pretend this type of skate comes with a bundle of a wooden hockey stick and plastic/foam shin pads.  Now lets add one more thing to this equation the price.  Lets go ahead and pretend that the price of this equipment package is 380 dollars.  Think, and let that sit in for a minute.

You ready for the next part.  Its a question that should help solve some of our dilema that you should be able to answer.  Is this a good deal?  Someone who doesn't play hockey might think so.  In my opinion, as a hockey player, its not.  Why not?  Well abec 3s are not that expensive.  They are probably the least expensive out of all the abec bearings.  Plastic frames crack easily and aren't meant for advanced players, but rather young beginners to roller hockey.  The hard wheels are usually inexpensive and are meant for outdoor hockey.  Indoor hockey is far more expensive than outdoor and it is what most roller hockey players invest in.

For the quick run down, a good pair of hockey skates range from $170 to $250.  A good stick costs $45 upwards.  Good shin pads cost 30 dollars or more.  So, as you can see, the example price doesn't fit the quality.  Hopefully that will give you a good idea on the good and bad types of hockey equipment packages out there.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mirrored Hockey Visors In The NHL: Should They Be Allowed?

Ok, I've done a post on hockey cages and shields, but not on certain types of shields.  Visors have become very popular in the sport and in the NHL over the past 10 years or so.  Now, I don't have time to study every player in the NHL, but I don't think anyone currently wears a mirrored visor.  The last person I know of that wore one was Ovechkin and I think he just uses a tinted visor now.  I think there were rumors of goalies complaining about reflective properties of the visors.  What would stop a player from reflecting light back into the goalie's eyes when they are taking a shot?  Do you guys think that they should be allowed in the NHL?  I think if you search for Ovechkin and mirrored visor interviews, he hints at the notion that he may have been told not to wear it because of complaints from high profile goalies. 

What do I think on this whole issue?  I don't know.  Hockey players are very fond of their equipment.  Imagine if someone told you that you couldn't wear certain skates because the bearings were too fast.  That is one argument.  The other side of the coin is that players cannot have certain types of equipment altered to a certain point.  For example.  You are allowed to have a curved blade on your stick, but you can't have an extreme curve or it is considered unfair.  Should this same type of standard be applied to hockey helmets that have a mirrored visor?  That is what people will argue.  Too much reflection is too much of an advantage.  This is what you will hear from the goalies.  The players will talk about how it cuts glare and they should be allowed to wear it for their protection.  I think the common middle ground will be that most players are going to just end up wearing a tinted visor to keep everyone happy.  Every few years, there will be a controversy where hockey equipment is concerned.