For instance...the CCM Tack 952...currently $199 at sportchek....but you should be able to find an ok skate for around the $200 mark.
Don't expect anything too fancy though....that being said, if you wanted fancy, try a play it again sports type thing....I've found some gems there, you can usually get some Grafs or the older Bauer Vapors for under $200...and sometimes in good condition.
Too tell you the truth though, you won't see much of a fluctuation in prices of skates between now and the fall...I'd suggest start a list and start tryin them on and go from there....I know when I bought my new Grafs, I spent 6 hours over a 2 day period with the Grafs and Vector Pro's on...eventually went with the grafs, and am SO happy! lol....but had to spend mucho dollar for that one.
If there is one thing to spend money on though, it's skates. Skimp in other places, just not skates
You can get good skates for $200. You just can't get the newest or most popular model.
I just bought a pair of 2003/2004 Pro Tack new from Hockey Giant for $125. Tell me Pro Tacks are not decent skates.
You can find closeouts at almost any big retailer for models that have been worn in the NHL in the past few years. Vapor XX, various models of Tacks, etc etc.. You can get 652 Tacks for under $150, and they are darn good skates. A lot of pros still wear custom versions.
Paying 400-500 for skates isn't going to make you any faster or better. The difference between a 200 pair of skates and a 500 dollar pair of skates is pretty minimal if you are comparing the hot new hyped model with the top of the line model from 2-3 years ago.
Its like golf equipment. An $800 dollar driver isn't going to help me beat Tiger Woods. and a pair of 727 Grafs with solid platinum T blades and diamond studded eyelets isn't going to help you outskate Pavel Bure, even if Pavel Bure is wearing a pair of sub $200 skates, LOL.