I spend a good bit of time checking out products on Hockey retail websites because the closest Hockey shop to me is an hour away but there is nothing like buying locally and getting you stuff cheaper with no shipping.
I go to Stick Time in Kennesaw, Ga and they're great. Awesome prices and great customer service. I just wanted to start a LHS appreciation thread because people who live up north and in Canada don't know how lucky you have it that you have them close by in the south like I said an hour drive and I get so excited to go.
I wish my local hockey store had much of a selection. It's smaller than basically the entire first floor of my house. I get my skates sharpened only there which I love about them but they have like literally 6 composite left handed sticks and they're all at least $180.
I'm really grateful that there are a few great hockey shops within 20 to 45 minutes from where I live.
I appreciate the guys that work at the local hockey shops since they are very knowledgeable, honest, customer friendly, and real.
Since none of the local hockey shops are part of a retail chain, they can really meet customer's needs since they do not have to deal with the wrath of the corporate office.
They have to put up with "customers" that are nothing but headaches; shoplifters, flea market bargain types, idiots that are flexing sticks, people leaving the dressing room a mess, guys that want their skates sharpened for free, guys that want their skates sharpened while they wait, etc...
For anyone that has not worked in retail; especially a specialty shop; they may feel that dealing with problematic customers is part of the job. I agree with that to a certain point, but a lot of problematic "customers" are people that are self centered, type a personalities that have usually left their manners at home.
In the small city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada there are a few choices for hockey stores - almost all of them are chains though.
My favourite is probably Dave Wilson Sports which I think used to be independent but has been affiliated with Source for Sports for quite a while now.
Great service. Had some rivets coming loose and most of the rest rusty and they rerivited both skates on the spot when they had a few customers and originally figured would have to drop off the skates and come back in a day or so. Bought a used pair of skates there and later they put in some plastic under the heel (between boot and blade holder) to get the "lean" of the skates closer to what I was used to with my previous skates.
Always get my skates sharpened there - never had a problem with the sharpen there unlike some of the other "chain" stores (who will remain nameless) that mainly employee a continuing supply of new kids.