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NHL Considers Equipment Changes, Larger Goals to Increase Offense
The decline of goal-scoring has the NHL looking at decreasing the size of equipment for goaltenders and increasing the size of goal cages. It was a topic of discussion during a meeting of NHL general managers in November.
Through the first 215 games of the NHL season the average goals scored was at 5.32. Last season finished at 5.46 a game and in 2009-10 it was 5.53, according to a story on Yahoo.com.
Colin Campbell, the NHL senior vice president of hockey operations, said GMs, owners and the National Hockey League Players Association have agreed to an adjustment of goalie equipment for the 2016-17 season. Campbell said goalies have agreed to the changes, but if they don't work, looking at bigger nets is an option.
Campbell said he has several prototypes of larger goals in the barn at his home. Before that happens, however, he said every attempt must be made to adjust the goalie equipment.
A change to a larger goal cage would also have an impact at other levels of play that would want to use nets that were the same as the NHL. There are also construction issues as a wider net would require new holes in an ice arena's cement.
Adidas Lands Penguins' Star Sidney Crosby
Adidas announced a multi-year partnership with NHL star and captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, in October. A Stanley Cup winner, World Championships Gold Medalist and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Crosby joins adidas to collaborate on apparel and equipment design and development. The Penguins center will also take a leading role in adidas marketing.
"Since I started playing hockey I have had a passion for the sport. I am excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with adidas and have an influence on products that matter to hockey players and all athletes in their training and preparation," Crosby said. "Adidas and I share the same drive to be the best at what we do. It's an exciting time to be a part of the energy the brand has and the future of the sport."
Known for his intuitive scoring ability, Crosby notched his 800th career point last season, becoming the sixth-fastest player in NHL history to reach 800 points. Along the way, Crosby has taken home the Art Ross Trophy (leading scorer) twice, made eight Stanley Cup playoff appearances and been named an NHL All-Star five times.
In addition to playing a key role in future hockey product creation and in marketing campaigns, Crosby will represent adidas at major international sporting events and brand initiatives around the world. Last month, adidas announced its new partnership with the NHL and NHLPA to be the official outfitter of all on-ice uniforms and licensed apparel and headwear, set to begin with the 2017-18 season. Additionally, adidas will become the official outfitter of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Pure Hockey Acquires Hockey Giant
Pure Hockey, LLC announced it has acquired all of the assets and ongoing business of California-based Sports Giant, LLC. Sports Giant includes ice hockey retailer Hockey Giant and online property HockeyGiant.com (among other online properties). HockeyGiant.com was one of the original online sellers of hockey gear and related product and remains among the largest online retailers.
Pure Hockey began discussions to acquire Sports Giant, LLC this past summer and with the acquisition, Pure Hockey strengthens its position as the largest ice hockey retailer in the US, operating 31 retail locations and multiple websites.
"This is a transformational acquisition for Pure Hockey; one which allows us to provide more value to our customers and increases our presence in some excellent hockey markets," said David Nectow, President of Pure Hockey parent company TSG Enterprises, LLC. "It also allows us to better compete in an evolving competitive environment. We are beyond excited to introduce ourselves to all of the valued Hockey Giant customers in the U.S.A."
In conjunction with the acquisition of Hockey Giant, Pure Hockey has also announced the relocation of its Corporate Headquarters to a 345,000 square foot building in Holliston, Mass. According to Nectow, the move to the state-of-the-art office and distribution facility will accomodate the Company's plans for current and future growth.
Pure Hockey is in its 21st year of business, with 22 store locations in seven states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania) and its online properties at www.purehockey.com and www.puregoalie.com. Pure Hockey also owns and operates ComLax, a 22-store retail chain which sells lacrosse equipment, and the online property www.comlax.com.
Hockey Giant was founded in 1999 and is a specialty multi-channel retailer of equipment for ice hockey and lacrosse. Hockey Giant is the main operating division of SportsGiant, with nine hockey stores in seven U.S. states (California, Wisconsin, Texas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York and New Jersey). Its primary online business is www.hockeygiant.com.
Bauer Opens New Innovation Center
Bauer officially opened its new Innovation Center in Blainville, Quebec, a suburb of Montreal, as the facility hosted approximately 350 of the company's top global retail partners for its annual BauerWorld event. The 100,000 square foot facility features state-of-the-art product testing labs, industry-leading design tools, a real ice surface to evaluate new product and a custom pro shop to host elite athletes.
The Bauer Innovation Center was previously located in St. Jerome, Quebec, for more than 44 years. The new cetner in Blainville is 25 percent larger and has more than 150 testing and research and development machines.
"Our new facility in Blainville matches our premium product with a premium research facility to continue elevating performance and protection at all levels," said Rich Wuerthele, Executive Vice President of Bauer Hockey.
STX Signs Six NHL Players
Baltimore-based STX signed six NHL players to multi-year deals to compete with STX equipment. J.T. Miller (New York Rangers), Adam McQuaid (Boston Bruins), Matt Martin (New York Islanders), Colin McDonald (Philadelphia Flyers), Shawn Thornton (Florida Panthers) and Vincent Trocheck (Florida Panthers) join players such as Matt Moulson (Buffalo Sabres) and Jiri Hudler (Calgary Flames) on the STX roster.
The addition of the six players will help drive brand awareness as STX continues to expand its ice hockey line, including the recent launch of the completely redesigned Stallion 600 stick.
"We are proud to announce these new NHL player partnerships," said Matt Hoppe, Senior Global Brand Manager at STX. "As we continue to expand our presence in the NHL and beyond, elite-level athletes everywhere are making the conscious choice to use STX Hockey equipment and that validates the high-performance nature of our products."
Roustan Ends Fight for Seat on Performance Sports Group Board
Former Bauer Chairman Graeme Roustan gave up his fight for a seat on the board of directors of Performance Sports Group, which owns Bauer, in late September. Roustan was Bauer chairman from 2008-2012 and planned to nominate himself as a candidate for director at the company's annual meeting Oct. 14 because of his dissatisfaction with PSG's plans.
Roustan is opposed to Bauer's foray into retail by opening its "Own The Moment" stores in the U.S. and Canada. The first store opened in suburban Boston in August and the second will open in suburban Minneapolis-St. Paul later this fall.
The PSG Board of Directors publicly released a letter to company shareholders, signed by board chairman Bernard McDonnell, that questioned Roustan's qualifications to be a director. The New York Post reported that Roustan could make a takeover bid for PSG that could surpass $1 billion.
Adidas Lands Seven-Year NHL Jersey Deal
The NHL and adidas on Tuesday announced a seven-year partnership that will make adidas the official outfitter of on-ice uniforms and official supplier of licensed apparel and headwear for the League starting with the 2017-18 season. Reebok, a brand owned by the adidas Group, is the NHL's current official outfitter.
In addition, the NHL, NHL Players' Association and adidas announced a partnership for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey that makes adidas the exclusive outfitter for authentic and replica jerseys for the eight-team tournament that will take place in Toronto from Sept. 17-Oct. 1, 2016.
"This is a big deal for us and we know it is for [adidas]," said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Bettman emphatically denied that the new partnership with adidas means advertising on NHL sweaters is coming in the near future. He said there have been no formal or informal discussions on the subject but there have been discussions about advertising on the World Cup jerseys.
Adidas will also be outfitting NHL dressing rooms with high-performance training footwear and apparel. CCM, which like Reebok is a brand owned by the adidas Group, will remain the NHL's official on-ice equipment supplier for the duration of the League's seven-year contract with adidas.
Click here to read more about the adidas-NHL jersey deal.
Bauer Signs No. 2 Draft Pick Jack Eichel
Bauer Hockey signed Buffalo Sabres top prospect Jack Eichel, the No. 2 selection in this year's draft, to a sponsorship deal. Eichel will exclusively wear equipment from Bauer, which plans to develop an Eichel line of performance and lifestyle clothes.
Eichel played for Boston University last season and was only the second freshman to win the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's Most Valuable Player. Eichel had 26 goals and 45 assists for 71 points in 40 games. Eichel was also on hand for the grand opening of Bauer's first "Own The Moment" Retail Experience in the Boston suburb of Burlington, Mass.
Fischer Skis Targets U.S. Hockey Market
Fischer Skis US LLC announced it restructured its leadership to be in a better position for success in the U.S. hockey and ski markets. Fischer hired Bernhard Harbec as a strategic consultant to develop its Hockey Division and establish the brand in the U.S. hockey market. Harbec was recently Sherwood's VP of Sales and brings a lot of experience and connections in the hockey industry to Fischer, which has manufactured hockey sticks for decades with distribution in Europe.
Total Hockey Acquires Players Bench
St. Louis-based Total Hockey announced the acquisition of Denver-based hockey and lacrosse retailer Players Bench on June 23. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close over the next six months, weren't immediately disclosed.Bauer announced it will open its second Own the Moment retail experience in Bloomington, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul, late this fall. The first Own The Moment is scheduled to open this summer in the Boston suburb of Burlington, Mass.
It's the first acquisition for Total Hockey, which has 24 stores across the country, since it was founded by Michael Benoit, the company's president and CEO, in 1999.Bauer announced it will open its second Own the Moment retail experience in Bloomington, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul, late this fall. The first Own The Moment is scheduled to open this summer in the Boston suburb of Burlington, Mass.
The deal adds a handful of key markets - eight stores in Colorado Springs and Denver; Columbus, Ohio, Dallas; Madison, Wis.; and Salt Lake City - to Total Hockey's portfolio. Total Hockey already has stores in Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.
The Players Bench stores will be rebranded as Total Hockey or Total Lacrosse. Click here to read more.
Bauer Announces Opening of Minnesota Retail Store, Fulfillment Center in Suburban Chicago
Bauer announced it will open its second Own the Moment retail experience in Bloomington, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul, late this fall. The first Own The Moment is scheduled to open this summer in the Boston suburb of Burlington, Mass.
The Bauer Own the Moment in Minnesota will reside in the current location of Hockey Giant, which paved the way for Bauer's second retail experience. Bauer will transform the 33,000-square foot space into its own store and it will include an indoor ice rink.
Click here to read more about Bauer's Own The Moment opening in Minnesota.
Bauer also announced it will occupy a new 250,000-square foot fulfillment center in Romeoville, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, to provide fulfillment opportunities and support Bauer Hockey's needs and product expansion opportunities. The facility is owned by OHL, a top global third-party logistics provider.
CCM Hockey Lands Sponsorship Deal with Top Draft Pick Connor McDavid
Connor McDavid, who was chosen by the Edmonton Oilers with the No. 1 pick in this year's NHL Draft, landed his first major sponsorship deal with CCM Hockey. McDavid joins a high-profile group of stars such as Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, Pavel Datsyuk and Canadiens' goalie Carey Price.
CCM Hockey will outfit McDavid in equipment from helmet to skate blade. McDavid will play a role in CCM's marketing campaigns, including its launch of a commercial series titled, "Made of Hockey." The 18-year-old McDavid has 97 goals and 188 assists in 166 career junior games and played for the Canadian national team that won the world junior title in January.