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"Hockey gear and manufacturers that don't exist anymore" thread

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Old
07-04-2009, 04:55 PM
  #126
GC72
 
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Originally Posted by Hockeyfan68 View Post
I thought Carl Brewer played when everyone used steel tubular blade holders. I think he retired before Tuuks were even invented right?

I'm not sure about that, didn't he make a comeback attempt in his 40s? I seem to remember something like that in the early 80s or late 70s?
I only remember Brewer in his last tour of duty w/the Leafs - 20 gms 1979-80...he may have had the steel tubular blades (I recall his skates being all black - long time ago, could easily be wrong) - I had the black tuuks....Brewer may have had black Nylite blades (which were the same shape as the steel tubular blades, but plastic) - some NHLers used those as well

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07-04-2009, 07:40 PM
  #127
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Originally Posted by GC72 View Post
I only remember Brewer in his last tour of duty w/the Leafs - 20 gms 1979-80...he may have had the steel tubular blades (I recall his skates being all black - long time ago, could easily be wrong) - I had the black tuuks....Brewer may have had black Nylite blades (which were the same shape as the steel tubular blades, but plastic) - some NHLers used those as well
Well if around 1980 they were TUUK blades and he musta wore them during his comeback for sure. i have a picture of Ray Bourque playing Junior hockey wearing the black TUUK's from 1979.

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07-04-2009, 09:01 PM
  #128
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i loved my old d&r gloves, i was at my parents looking for them to re-palm for an extra set but no luck finding them. i still use my d&r elbows.
i remember trying on my dads old what seemed like 25 inch christian gloves and he still uses his stan mikita helmet. i think it does more harm then good. the padding is like a rock.
micron skates, so comfy. someone on ebay is selling a bunch of them.
hespeler gloves were nice.
old cooper gloves with the laces in the cuff.
christian sticks i guess are back http://www.cbhockey.com/home.php
anyone use these new ones?

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Old
07-05-2009, 12:39 AM
  #129
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Originally Posted by bmundus View Post
i loved my old d&r gloves, i was at my parents looking for them to re-palm for an extra set but no luck finding them. i still use my d&r elbows.
i remember trying on my dads old what seemed like 25 inch christian gloves and he still uses his stan mikita helmet. i think it does more harm then good. the padding is like a rock.
micron skates, so comfy. someone on ebay is selling a bunch of them.
hespeler gloves were nice.
old cooper gloves with the laces in the cuff.
christian sticks i guess are back http://www.cbhockey.com/home.php
anyone use these new ones?
I own a Harrow composite shaft, Harrow lacrosse and field hockey gear bought Christian ... I found an article about Christian sticks you may find interesting. By the way my Harrow stuff rules hockey butt. http://www.hockeystick.com

Once A Dominant Brand,
Christian Hockey Sticks Are On Their Way Back

It should shock almost nobody in the Minnesota hockey world to learn that after declaring a sad end to the Christian Brothers hockey stick operation this past summer, there’s been a remarkable comeback in Hockey-town USA.


One of the few remaining American hockey stick manufacturers is back in business, which should be of little surprise to anyone who knows the Christians and their place among the legends of hockey in the United States.


You see, comebacks are nothing new to Billy and Roger Christian. In fact, without the soft-spoken pair of hockey magicians skating for Team USA 44 years ago, the term “miracle on ice” might never have worked its way into the American lexicon.
Billy and Roger, who had skated on the frozen Warroad River since they could walk, and who had torn up the ice in arenas throughout northern Minnesota, were called upon to serve their country at the 1960 Winter Olympics. Trailing the Soviet Union by a goal in the second period of their Olympic semi-final game, Billy scored to tie the match, then took a pass from his brother to net the game-winner. A short time later, they returned to Warroad with gold medals and started making hockey sticks for a living.
More than one generation of Minnesota skaters grew up knowing the only way to play the game was with a piece of lumber labeled “CHRISTIAN BROS.” on the shaft. “Hockey sticks by hockey players” was their slogan, and they were the stick to own in Minnesota for decades.


The family reputation, and the popularity of their sticks, was further enhanced in 1980, when Billy’s son David led Team USA in assists at the Lake Placid Winter Games, helping cap another re-markable comeback and bringing another gold medal back home.
But times change, and the 1990s brought trouble to the family business. A combination of increased competition from sporting good giants and a shift away from wood sticks to more use of composite materials caused struggles for the Christians and their small town operation. By the summer of 2003, the business hit rock bottom, the plant shut down and thus was the end of the line for Christian hockey sticks.


Now however, a mere eight months later, at a time when the temp is below zero in Warroad for weeks at a time, the scene is much brighter again. Now, when driving by the hockey stick factory he and his brother founded many years ago, Billy Christian sees smoke coming from the smokestacks, and cars in the parking lot. After a brief hiatus, there’s been another Christian comeback.


The rally began in September, when Denver-based Harrow Sports inquired about buying the op-eration, and owning one of the most renowned names in American hockey equipment. Harrow had established a reputation as a maker of top-quality graphite lacrosse sticks and squash racquets, and had begun forays into the hockey stick world. In addition, Harrow had a history of taking old product lines and breathing new life into them. It was just a few years ago that Harrow bought the defunct Bancroft Tennis line – once the most respected makers of tennis racquets – and brought them back on line.
Eager for a line of wood hockey sticks to go along with the graphite sticks already being produced in Colorado, Harrow bought the Warroad plant and has begun the process of getting things back up to full speed. They currently employ 15 people and hope to have a 30-person workforce when things are running at full capacity. In a community the size of Warroad (pop. 1,500) that’s a big employer and a positive force for the local economy.


Harrow’s John Bayreuther has taken on the task of rebuilding and rethinking Christian hockey sticks, and is finishing his duties as the assistant lacrosse coach at the University of Denver before he and his family move to Warroad in May. He visited the plant for an extended stay in January and the company began up-dating machinery that will eventually speed up the stick manu-facturing process.


But Bayreuther, who has roots in the Maine hockey scene and knows all about the pas-sion for the game, says that the deci-sion to buy Christian and revive the brand was certainly not just a “dollars and cents” decision.


“This is far from just a business deal,” said Bayreuther. “We were romantically involved with the idea of owning one of the last American hockey companies.”


Of course, Bayreuther and his bosses think that the timing is right in terms of dollars and cents too. In the past, the Christians struggled to compete with Canadian stick manufacturers due to the weak Canadian dollar. Today, with the Canadian dollar stronger, Bayreuther notes that there has never been a better time for companies to do business in Canada.


With that said, the folks at Harrow fully understand the importance of the Christian brand and the family name to the hockey community in Minnesota and neighboring states.


“Historically, more than 70 percent of Christian’s business has been done in the Midwest, so we clearly know what an important market we have in our own backyard,” Bayreuther said. “The brand had been slowly disappearing for a few years to the point where people in other parts of the nation don’t see Christian Brothers like the people of Minnesota do, and that’s something we aim to change.”


The change begins by having Christian get back to the company’s historical strengths. Many NHL players (including Stanley Cup winners like Jaromir Jagr and Ed Belfour) chose Christian sticks on their own in the past, without the company ever paying endorsement incentives. The brand’s new managers don’t plan on spending a lot of money on endorsements this go-around either, but instead intend to win back the highest-level players (especially those who still prefer wood sticks) by providing custom-designed sticks.


“We’re hoping to get guys like Belfour back using our sticks by being on the cutting edge of goalie stick design and manufacturing,” said Bayreuther. “The company will continue to be what people know it for, primarily the best-quality wood replacement blades, wood sticks and wood goalie sticks. Custom-designed sticks are going to continue to be a huge part of what we do.”


And after a generation of being the guy in the middle of the action on the ice, making others stand up and cheer, Billy Christian is satisfied to watch from a distance and root for the new home team. He and Roger are now at retirement age, and are offering support and encouragement as the stick line they founded and grew with years of hard work is born again.


“I’m sure pulling for these guys to make a success of it,” said Billy. “It’s very important for Warroad and the region, not only in terms of jobs but in terms of identity. A lot of people are pretty proud to say that we’ve got our own hockey stick plant.”


But Billy acknowledges that with few surviving American hockey stick manufacturers, the revival of the product line that bears his family name is bigger than just 30 jobs in a Warroad factory.


“These sticks are really part of the hockey history here, so I like to think that Christian sticks are pretty important for the hockey community in this state,” he said. “We’re all certainly very happy to see them open for business again.”
Coming from a family known for taking a struggling team, mounting a comeback and turning it into gold, those are strong words indeed.

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Old
07-05-2009, 02:21 AM
  #130
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to this day my favorite stick of all time was a Christian Brothers Kent Nilsson model that I used from the mid to late 80's. I really missed that pattern after he returned to Sweden.
Has Louisville Slugger been mentioned? That was the first stick I ever owned. In the early 70's the WHL Phx Roadrunners had a few players that used them and the pro shop at the local rink where the team practiced was heavily stocked with them.
I recall Mickey Redmond and Guy Lafleur using Louisvilles.

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Old
07-05-2009, 10:14 AM
  #131
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Originally Posted by phxroadrunner View Post
to this day my favorite stick of all time was a Christian Brothers Kent Nilsson model that I used from the mid to late 80's. I really missed that pattern after he returned to Sweden.
Has Louisville Slugger been mentioned? That was the first stick I ever owned. In the early 70's the WHL Phx Roadrunners had a few players that used them and the pro shop at the local rink where the team practiced was heavily stocked with them.
I recall Mickey Redmond and Guy Lafleur using Louisvilles.
I'm pretty sure they became TPS. Same company, but different name. They use TPX on baseball stuff, and TPS in hockey. And they just bought Sher-Wood.

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07-05-2009, 12:56 PM
  #132
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I think it's Sher-Wood that bought TPS. I went to a sports store down the street and asked if they could order a TPS stick for me with the Nash curve but he said he couldn't because TPS went out of business. He went on to saying he thought Sher-Wood bought them but could be wrong.

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07-05-2009, 02:49 PM
  #133
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good to see they are making the sticks here and not in china. to often in many industries the old brand names get bought by big company's that put out crap built in china with this good name attached. not to say that all stuff made in china is crap, its not. but it happens a lot. thanks for the article

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07-05-2009, 09:22 PM
  #134
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I'm pretty sure they became TPS. Same company, but different name. They use TPX on baseball stuff, and TPS in hockey. And they just bought Sher-Wood.
SW bought TPS' assets.

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07-05-2009, 11:44 PM
  #135
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SW bought TPS' assets.
I guess I flipped that around remembering that Sherwood had had problems recently too.

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07-06-2009, 11:47 AM
  #136
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Originally Posted by bmundus View Post
good to see they are making the sticks here and not in china. to often in many industries the old brand names get bought by big company's that put out crap built in china with this good name attached. not to say that all stuff made in china is crap, its not. but it happens a lot. thanks for the article
My Bauer Vapors was made in China. I only used one of them for like 5-6 skates so hopefully it won't break soon.

I actually have an Easton Synergy that was made in Mexico and broke after maybe 6 months. I only play once or twice a week so 6 months really means probably 40-50 skates since the first 3 months I was only playing once a week and since then I was playing twice. The bottom of the blade split in half which sucks.

I need to find out where you get these Canadian made sticks. My TPS was made in Canada and it has held up like a champ, not to mention it was half the price of the Synergy.

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05-11-2010, 08:51 PM
  #137
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[QUOTE=Harv;18612439]The white nike skates Fedorov wore with the Red Wings. If you had these you were boss.


Kid on my Peewee team had those. They looked cool but weighed the same as a pair of cinder blocks. No wonder he was slowest on the team :-P. I remember those Branches sticks, with the rhino-wrap blades. Never liked them personally, way too stiff :-/.

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05-12-2010, 09:06 AM
  #138
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R.I.P. TPS sticks, also kind of wish I could have tried some S500's and Jofa protective. I also get nostalgic for Cooper shoulders and KOHO sticks.

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09-01-2010, 11:13 AM
  #139
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Cooper gear in general, especially the Techniflex line. If you played hockey prior to 1995, it is almost impossible to not have owned a piece of Cooper equipment. With the exception of their shin pads, everything was top notch. I still have two pairs of Techniflex gloves and a set of Techniflex pants I got from the Tacoma (Kelowna) Rockets back in 1994.
I wish Bauer would re-brand some of their stuff under the Cooper name, much the same way Reebok has done with CCM.

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09-01-2010, 11:25 AM
  #140
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R.I.P. TPS sticks, also kind of wish I could have tried some S500's and Jofa protective. I also get nostalgic for Cooper shoulders and KOHO sticks.
I actually got on a Jofa kick a couple months back and went all over hell looking at used gear. I found a whole bunch of it, but kept the 7k Pro (9144) elbow pads. So fantastic. The shoulders were all good but linebacker looking, the new Reebok stuff builds on it better. Same with the shin pads. But the new Reebok elbows aren't as nice.

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09-01-2010, 02:47 PM
  #141
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How about ROOS skates - were made in Kitchener i believe - all black with black tuck 2000 blades...had a pair 30yrs ago...a few NHLers wore them...only one that comes to mind is Carl Brewer for the Leafs - what about Kenesky goalie pads - were the pad of choice in the 60s, 70s - old man Kenesky would make your custom pads up stairs above the store in Hamilton - store is still there but don't think they make their own pads any more

They were made by Cooper. I remember something about them being made from Kangaroo leather but I don't know if that has any truth to it.


Google found me this old school commercial. Remember the little skinny laces you used to loop into eyelets at the very top of the boot and then tie them over your shin pads?



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09-01-2010, 02:49 PM
  #142
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Oh yeah!!

My very first twig was a "Playmaker". I think this was a Canadian Tire Brand. Does any one remember?

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09-01-2010, 02:56 PM
  #143
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I don't know what song that is or where I remember it from, but hearing that tune has me tripping back to my childhood in the 80's. Man that music kicked ass.

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09-01-2010, 03:22 PM
  #144
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I had a pair of Vacu-Tacks.


They would heat the skates. Put them on your foot and then insert the skate and foot into a vinyl bag and suck the air out of the bag with a vacuum. They were awesomesauce!

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09-01-2010, 06:34 PM
  #145
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Cooper gear in general, especially the Techniflex line. If you played hockey prior to 1995, it is almost impossible to not have owned a piece of Cooper equipment. With the exception of their shin pads, everything was top notch. I still have two pairs of Techniflex gloves and a set of Techniflex pants I got from the Tacoma (Kelowna) Rockets back in 1994.
I wish Bauer would re-brand some of their stuff under the Cooper name, much the same way Reebok has done with CCM.
There are (were?) some "Cooper" items being sold at Canadian Tire the last time I took a look at their hockey gear, about a year ago. It looked like it was the Supreme Classic line of protective equipment rebranded.

I wanted Techniflex gloves so bad. The shoulders were pretty great, too. I had great luck with my Cooper shin pads from 94 or so. I used them right up until midway through this past season, actually.

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