Discount Hockey Blog

Fan, Fun, and Hockey Equipment

  • CCM RBZ Roller Review

    The release of the CCM RBZ Ice Hockey Skates left roller hockey players excited for the release of the RBZ roller skates. The RBZ roller hockey skates feature largely the same boot as the RBZ ice hockey skates, and many other features of the RBZ ice skate were transferred into the roller model, including the custom support insoles and the pro-injected foam felt tongue.

    ccm-rbz-roller-hockey-skates

    The quarter package is made from the new Action Form + SpeedCore, providing skaters with a high-end stiffness that is still heat moldable. The roller version was made a bit stiffer than the ice model to compensate for the warmer temperature conditions of roller hockey. This will help to maintain the support as the boot heats up. The RBZ roller skates use a durable, moisture wicking Duratex liner. The skates also come with CCM’s new custom support insoles for improved arch support. The custom support insole not only provides a more comfortable footbed, but also increases the energy transfer between the foot and the boot. The tongue is a pro-injected foam felt tongue for improved lace bite protection.

    The outsole is made of a sturdy fiberglass composite which will maximize the energy transferred from the boot. The RBZ roller skate has a redesigned toe cap for added ventilation, helping to keep feet cool and dry while playing. The Labeda CNC Aluminum Chassis is affixed to the bottom of the RBZ roller skates with an 80mm set of Labeda Addiction wheels and Labeda Swiss Lite 608 bearings. The lightweight Aluminum Labeda Chassis is extremely durable. The RBZ roller hockey skates are a high performance skate for higher end players. They provide a maximum level of stiffness and support. For those looking for something less stiff or less pricy, the rest of the CCM line has something for you.

    The RBZ 90 is the first level down from the RBZ roller hockey skate. It features a similar Aluminum Labeda Chassis and Labeda Swiss bearings. It comes with Labeda Dynasty Gripper wheels. The tongue is a two-piece vented tongue. The boot is made from the Vectorwear Surlyn, providing an excellent level of support.

    The RBZ 80 is made from a sublimated tech mesh with Compound Blend Core technology. It features a vented toe cap and a one-piece comfort foam tongue, as well as the Aluminum Labeda Chassis and Millenium Gripper wheels with Labeda ABEC-9 bearings. This is an elite skate for an affordable price.

    The RBZ 70 offers a great performance value. The boot is made from an embossed nylon. It features a Labeda Aluminum Chassis with Labeda Gripper X-Soft wheels and Labeda ABEC-9 bearings. This is a great skate for new players looking for a good level of support and durability.

    The RBZ 60 is the entry-level skate in the RBZ roller line. They are made from a tech mesh with a multi-layer core, which provides a moderate level of support. The Labeda frame holds Labeda Shooter Multi-Purpose wheels with Labeda ABEC-7 bearings. This is a perfect starting skate for new players.

    The RBZ Roller hockey line of skates has something for every players: a great high-end skate in the RBZ and an entry-level skate in the RBZ 60. This line builds on a lot of the features in the RBZ ice skate and transfers these features over to build a great line of roller hockey skates.

    Have you tried CCM Inline skates before? Are you interested in picking up one of the new RBZ skates? You can check them out at Discount Hockey, in store and online here.

  • How to Have a Hockey Halloween


    Costume Ideas for the Ultimate Hockey Halloween


    1. The obvious choice to have a hockey halloween – be a hockey player! For anyone that already plays the sport, all you have to do is throw your equipment on along with your favorite team’s jersey and then boom, you’re a hockey player!

    Hockey Player Halloween Costume A Hockey Player Halloween Costume

    Bush League version: If you don’t already own gear, don’t sweat it. Throw on a jersey, a beanie, and some windbreaker pants, and you’ll look like you’re ready for a game of shinny.

    Hockey Players Playing Shinny Hockey Players Playing Shinny

    Bonus points for wearing a mullet wig, and double bonus points if you sport a Parros ‘stache.

    George Parros Mustache George Parros' awesome mustache

    2. The Stanley Cup. I’m telling you right now, you’re going to need a lot of tin foil, a bowl you don’t mind wearing on your head, a roll of silver duct tape, and maybe even some suspenders.

    Stanley Cup Halloween Costume This kid is freaking adorable.

    3. Suited up player. It’s simple enough: if you own a suit, this could be a great, cheap option for you. You might have to spend time telling people what you are, but you can help make it more obvious by adding some tape on your nose or a creating a makeshift black eye. Cost of this option: free! (Unless you need to purchase eye shadow for the black eye, then you might need to muster up about $4.)

    Hockey Players wearing suits before a game Hockey Players wearing suits before a game

    4. The Crazed Fan: Unleash the inner fan we all know is inside of you. Go crazy, deck yourself out, paint your face, wear your favorite team’s colors, put streamers in your hair, and do whatever else you can think of! The more over the top you go, the more exciting your costume will look. Better yet, if you are friends with a talented artist, you can look like something like this Sharks fan:

    San Jose Sharks Face Paint San Jose Sharks Finatic

    5. Green Man from Vancouver. If you’ve ever watched a Canucks game, chances are you’ve seen two men dressed head to toe in green spandex, taunting opposing team members during their trips to the penalty box. Root Suit sells the infamous suit for only $39.99.

    green man costume The Vancouver Green Men

    The Only Thing Better than a Pumpkin is a Hockey Pumpkin


    We here at Discount Hockey are willing to bet you’ve never thought about Halloween without thinking of the traditional carved pumpkins that line everybody’s front steps. The origin of the famed Jack-O-Lantern stems from Irish folklore about a man named Stingy Jack, who invited the devil over for a drink. Long story short, after some quarreling with the devil, Jack finally dies and comes back to roam earth with a burning soul inside of a carved out turnip. Hundred of years later, we have Jack to thank for the eerie toothless grins that we see each October 31st. To keep your hockey theme alive all the way down to your orange gourds, we’ve come up with some pretty sweet ideas on how to decorate and carve these orange fruits.

    Stoneykins Pumpkin Patterns offers an entire page of NHL themed stencils for your pumpkin-carving needs.

    St. Louis Blues Painted Pumpkin St. Louis Blues Painted Pumpkin

    If you’re not into the mess of seeds and gunk that comes with scooping out the guts of this Halloween squash, you can always paint your favorite team’s logo on it instead. Sans candle on the inside, it might now glow as brightly, but it’ll certainly save you the headache of a cleanup.

    Building a Hockey Scarecrow

    Hockey Player Scarecrow Hockey Player Scarecrow... You're totally scared, don't even fib yourself.

    Growing up in a family with five hockey-playing boys, there was always a plethora of extra equipment lying around. Halloween served as the perfect excuse to take all the extras and create our own hockey player scarecrow for the front yard.

    Step one: Gather equipment.

    You WILL need:

    • Jersey
    • Helmet
    • Gloves
    • Hockey pants
    • Hockey socks
    • Stick
    • Skates



    You WON’T need:

    • Elbow pads
    • Shoulder pads
    • Shin guards



    Your scarecrow will be stuffed underneath the jersey and socks, so no need for the items listed above.

    Step two: Find stuffing.

    If you live on a farm, maybe you have extra hay lying around that you could use for stuffing. If you live basically anywhere else, you might have better luck with some other materials. I’ve always used old newspapers for my scarecrows.

    Other alternatives: towels you don’t use, pillows, or old clothes you don’t wear.

    Step three: The odds and ends.

    You WILL need:

    • Seven rubber bands (to tie closed the jersey and socks after you stuff - them)
    • A good handful of safety pins
    • A pumpkin that will fit inside of the helmet
    • Two long broom handles if you want your scarecrow to stand
    • OR something you can put in your yard for your scarecrow to sit on instead. Our scarecrow sat in a wheelbarrow. It was the easiest way to place the scarecrow without worrying about it blowing over in the wind!


    Step four: Assembly. 

    Fill the jersey and both socks with enough stuffing to make them plump. The key is to make it look somewhat human, not deflated and lifeless. Tie together each end of an opening: the two sleeves, the bottom of the jersey, and the top and bottom of each of the socks.

    Step five: Putting it all together. 

    This part will require a bit of improvising depending on how you want your scarecrow to be viewed. The easiest way is sitting down. As mentioned, a wheelbarrow would be ideal but you could also use a low-to-the-ground lawn chair/beach chair or a garden bench. Place the shorts in the perfect position and pin each of the stuffed parts in their proper places (socks to the leg holes, jersey to the upper opening of the pants, etc. Seat your scarecrow in the position you desire and carefully place the pumpkin/helmet or helmet/mask combo on top of the upper body, the gloves on the ends of the tied jersey arms, and skates at the ends of the tied hockey socks. I’ve gotten away with being able to prop the head up without any problems, but this is where it might be easier to use a broom handle rather than chancing a balancing act.

    And voilà! Your very own hockey scarecrow. So real! So scary! Wow! You’ll scare the neighbors away!!


  • CCM RBZ Roller Skates Review

    The release of the CCM RBZ Ice Hockey Skates left roller hockey players excited for the release of the RBZ roller skates. The RBZ roller hockey skates feature largely the same boot as the RBZ ice hockey skates, and many other features of the RBZ ice skate were transferred into the roller model, including the custom support insoles and the pro-injected foam felt tongue. ccm-rbz-roller-hockey-skates The quarter package is made from the new Action Form + SpeedCore, providing skaters with a high-end stiffness that is still heat moldable. The roller version was made a bit stiffer than the ice model to compensate for the warmer temperature conditions of roller hockey. This will help to maintain the support as the boot heats up. The RBZ roller skates use a durable, moisture wicking Duratex liner. The skates also come with CCM’s new custom support insoles for improved arch support. The custom support insole not only provides a more comfortable footbed, but also increases the energy transfer between the foot and the boot. The tongue is a pro-injected foam felt tongue for improved lace bite protection.

    CCM RBZ Roller Hockey Skates CCM RBZ Roller Hockey Skates

    The outsole is made of a sturdy fiberglass composite which will maximize the energy transferred from the boot. The RBZ roller skate has a redesigned toe cap for added ventilation, helping to keep feet cool and dry while playing. The Labeda CNC Aluminum Chassis is affixed to the bottom of the RBZ roller skates with an 80mm set of Labeda Addiction wheels and Labeda Swiss Lite 608 bearings. The lightweight Aluminum Labeda Chassis is extremely durable. The RBZ roller hockey skates are a high performance skate for higher end players. They provide a maximum level of stiffness and support. For those looking for something less stiff or less pricy, the rest of the CCM line has something for you.

    CCM RBZ 90 Inline Skates CCM RBZ 90 Inline Skates

    The RBZ 90 is the first level down from the RBZ roller hockey skate. It features a similar Aluminum Labeda Chassis and Labeda Swiss bearings. It comes with Labeda Dynasty Gripper wheels. The tongue is a two-piece vented tongue. The boot is made from the Vectorwear Surlyn, providing an excellent level of support.

    CCM RBZ 80 Inline Skates CCM RBZ 80 Inline Skates

    The RBZ 80 is made from a sublimated tech mesh with Compound Blend Core technology. It features a vented toe cap and a one-piece comfort foam tongue, as well as the Aluminum Labeda Chassis and Millenium Gripper wheels with Labeda ABEC-9 bearings. This is an elite skate for an affordable price.

    CCM RBZ 70 Inline Skates CCM RBZ 70 Inline Skates

    The RBZ 70 offers a great performance value. The boot is made from an embossed nylon. It features a Labeda Aluminum Chassis with Labeda Gripper X-Soft wheels and Labeda ABEC-9 bearings. This is a great skate for new players looking for a good level of support and durability.

    CCM RBZ 60 Inline Skates CCM RBZ 60 Inline Skates

    The RBZ 60 is the entry-level skate in the RBZ roller line. They are made from a tech mesh with a multi-layer core, which provides a moderate level of support. The Labeda frame holds Labeda Shooter Multi-Purpose wheels with Labeda ABEC-7 bearings. This is a perfect starting skate for new players.

    The RBZ Roller hockey line of skates has something for every players: a great high-end skate in the RBZ and an entry-level skate in the RBZ 60. This line builds on a lot of the features in the RBZ ice skate and transfers these features over to build a great line of roller hockey skates. Have you tried CCM Inline skates before? Are you interested in picking up one of the new RBZ skates? You can check them out at Discount Hockey, in store and online here.

  • Do Former Goalies Make for Better Forwards?

    Hockey is a game of true teamwork and determination. Quick passing will always beat out selfish playing. It is a game that relies on all team members to help score goals and win. But one position stands out amongst them all: goaltending. The last line of defense against the opposition, goaltending is arguably one of the most unique positions in all of sports. While everyone’s motive is to score goals, a goalie’s job is to make sure that doesn’t happen. Goalies are often regarded as the most interesting people on a team; after all, it is pretty strange to willingly stand in front of 90 mile per hour slap shots hoping that the puck will hit you. Goalies must be the most flexible and nimble players on the ice, bending over backwards and sprawling out in any direction necessary to make a save. They also have to be the best skaters, rapidly changing direction between forwards, backwards, and side to side, and doing so with complete balance. Patience for goalies is a must. Goaltenders must wait for the player to make the first move, yet be able to react quickly enough to block any space the shooter may have found open. There are lots of tips and tricks goalies will use to make a scorers game difficult. Aggressively attacking the shooter to cut down the angle of the net or reading a player’s body language will help a goalie to read a shot or prepare for a deke. The immense satisfaction of “robbing” what was sure to be a goal is the reason that most continue to put on the mask.

    Do former goalies make for better forwards? Do former goalies make for better forwards?

    But what happens when a goalie decides to hang up the leg pads to strap on some shin guards, and switch out a catch glove and blocker for a pair of silky 4 rolls? Does having formerly guarded the goal provide an advantage for now trying to break into it? Let’s look at some of the possible benefits. When used properly, shooting angles are one of a goalie’s most important strengths. The crease is not only for providing a goalie a safe place to stand, but can also be used to landmark where the net is when cutting down the angle. As a forward, a former goalie may recognize when a goaltender is coming out of his net and decide that shooting might not be the best option. Opening up the net is now the primary goal. Skating in fast to back the goalie into the net can open up some corners, or allow a player to make a quick deke and tuck the puck in 5-hole or reach around a sprawled out leg pad. A trained goalie also knows how to read the body and stick blade. An open blade, facing the goal, is a stick that’s ready to shoot; a stick with the toe forward is ready to deke. A shooter’s body language can tell a lot about what might come next, and a goalie-gone-shooter can capitalize on understanding these techniques to score goals. A shooter who knows what a goalie is looking for can be sure to mislead the opponent.

    Jonathan Quick makes a diving save on Joe Pavelski Jonathan Quick makes a diving save on Joe Pavelski

    As a forward that began as a goaltender, I know without a doubt that it has helped my game. Transitioning at first may not be easy. Learning the positioning, where to be, and what your individual position is responsible for doing requires focus and practice. Skating as a forward is different than skating as a goalie, and once you learn where you need to be, you’ll need to adjust your skating style. The slant on player skates has a forward pitch for better speed and acceleration, whereas a goaltender skates are flat for easy movement in any direction. These are all small adjustments that need to be made before really developing as a goal scorer. Most goalies will spend time with a player stick in hand growing up. I spent time in and out of the net as a kid, giving me experience shooting and stickhandling. On the ice, these skills will all get better with practice.  Now that I have developed shooting, stickhandling, and passing skills, I can use what I know more efficiently. It’s helpful to see the holes a goalie is exposing and pick them out, and know when tender is cheating over, luring you to shoot to the glove side only to take it away at the last second. Goalies know the hardest saves to make are just above the pad on the low blocker side. Other helpful tricks to use all stem from selling a bait and switching to something else last second. Goalies are trained to watch your eyes as well as your body, so stare high glove when you're breaking in, then change it up and shoot low blocker or make a deke and tuck it around him. Goalies also hate being scored on 5-hole. Break in and make a move to your backhand, and as you deke wide to the forehand, quickly tuck the puck between the goalie’s legs as he is sprawled out.

    Forward players are going to have experience playing out and reading other players. They will know how to get around the defender and how to make smooth, accurate passes. These are all things that a goalie-turned-shooter will have little experience doing. But goalies spend the most time watching the game from ice level while the puck is at the other end. Goalies see plays breaking out and watch for backdoor passes. Using these skills, a goalie will be able to adapt and see plays coming ahead of time, and former goaltenders can thus make some of the best passers in the game. That not only gives time for teammates to get open for great pass plays, but also makes a goalie nervous while he waits for the first move, and causes him to bite early. There are some hurdles to overcome before you catch up to players who have skated out their whole lives, but there are also plenty of advantages that come from knowing what it’s like to netmind.

    Do former goalies have an advantage? Do former goalies have an advantage?

    What position do you play now? Have you ever been interested in playing from the other perspective? Are you interested in picking up some goalie gear or switching to player? We want to hear your opinions – leave a comment!

  • NHL Superstitions: The Best Rituals in Hockey

    Certain athletes believe that in order to perform to their highest possible potential, they must follow specific rituals to succeed during competition. These rituals, otherwise known as superstitions, exist for many athletes in many sports, but some of the most interesting and unique cases can be found in hockey. Let's take a look at some of the strangest, weirdest, and best NHL superstitions.

    Superstitions are formed when a team or player wants “lady luck” on their side. These NHL superstitions may last the duration of the season, through the entirety of the playoffs, or even throughout a player’s whole career. From getting dressed a particular way before every game, to tossing an octopus onto the ice in Detroit, to the essential playoff beard, these are some of hockey’s finest traditions and superstitions.

    Patrick Roy (in goal for the Colorado Avalanche) has a laundry list of NHL superstitions Patrick Roy in goal for the Colorado Avalanche

    Many players prefer to view their NHL superstitions as routines or habits, but that doesn’t make them any less extraordinary. Patrick Roy, one of the greatest netminders of all time, was known to have full conversations with the goal posts and considered them to be his “friends”.  Whatever he was saying to them, it obviously worked.  Roy finished his career as the all-time leader in playoff wins and playoff games played by a goaltender, holds the record for most Conn Smythe trophies with three, and was a first-ballot hall of fame inductee.

    Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook

    Roy certainly was not the only player with odd hockey superstitions. Brent Seabrook, defenseman for the 2013 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, has a laundry list of superstitions and is considered both the most superstitious player on the team as well as the most difficult to room with on the road. Seabrook’s meticulous habits mostly involve different eating and sleeping routines, including eating seven Hershey’s kisses before every game. The most mysterious, however, is his habit of reviewing nine words over and over in his head prior to each game – words that only he and the Blackhawks’ mental skills coach know.

    Some NHL superstitions are weirder than others: a referee picking up an Octupus from the ice in Joe Louis Arena A referee picking up an Octupus from the ice in Joe Louis Arena (Source: Getty Images)

    Joe Louis Arena, home to the Detroit Red Wings, is also the birthplace of a very strange NHL superstition: often, fans will throw an octopus onto the ice during Red Wings games. The octopus toss began during the 1952 playoffs when Pete and Jerry Cusimano, brothers and market owners, threw an octopus onto the rink. The brothers claimed that the eight legs of the octopus symbolized the eight wins needed for the Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup (in 1952, there were only two best-of-7 rounds of playoff hockey). The Red Wings went a perfect 8-0 en route to a Stanley Cup, and thus, the Legend of the Octopus was born – and lives on to this day. In fact, during the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals between the Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins, seafood wholesalers in Pittsburgh required identification from customers wishing to purchase octopuses and refused anyone wearing Red Wings apparel so that the octopus would not make an appearance on Pittsburgh ice. Not that it helped, though; the Red Wings defeated the Penguins in six games to win the 2008 Stanley Cup.

    The New York Islanders holding the Stanley Cup The New York Islanders holding the Stanley Cup

    One of the oldest and most recognizable traditions in hockey began with the 1980 New York Islanders, who sought to bring luck to their team by letting their beards grow. The Islanders hoisted the Stanley Cup that year… and did so for four consecutive seasons, becoming one of the most successful franchises in the last four decades. The Islanders’ beard-magic clearly worked – as growing playoff beards has since been a regular occurrence among players, coaches, and fans, who choose not to shave their beards until their team is eliminated from the playoffs (or the lucky few that win). We even chronicled this NHL supersition in our top 20 playoff beards.

    Sidney Crosby holding the Prince of Wales Trophy (Source: AP Photos) Sidney Crosby holding the Prince of Wales Trophy (Source: AP Photos)

    The second-most prestigious award a team can win during the Stanley Cup Playoffs is the conference championship trophy: the Prince of Wales Trophy for Eastern Conference teams and the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl for Western Conference teams. The winners of these two awards face each other in the Stanley Cup Finals to determine supremacy between the Eastern and Western conferences. However, there is a hockey superstition that these trophies should not be touched – doing so could cause bad luck or misfortune for your team – and symbolizes that the Stanley Cup is the only trophy worth hoisting. In 2010, Mike Richards, then captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, lifted the Prince of Wales trophy and the Flyers went on to lose to the Chicago Blackhawks in the finals. The year prior, however, Sidney Crosby, captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, hoisted the Prince of Wales trophy and then raised the Stanley Cup just seven games later.

    Crosby and Gretzky holding the Stanley Cup Crosby and Gretzky holding the Stanley Cup

    Does luck have anything to do with these NHL superstitions? Are they superstitions at all, or simply a set of routines that players adhere to so that every game feels familiar? Either way, the highest-producing player in the game today, Sidney Crosby, and the highest-producing player of all-time, Wayne Gretzky, have some pretty strange NHL superstitions. Crosby, with a 1.41 points-per-game average since the 2005-06 season (5th all-time in career points per game), has a number of superstitions that help him continue his success. He was born on August 7, 1987 (8/7/87) and wears #87 on his sweater. He enters the Penguins’ Consol Energy Center and takes a very out-of-the-way route to the home locker-room so that he does not have to pass the away team’s locker rooms. He eats the same pre-game meal at the same time before every game – a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He refuses to allow anyone to touch his sticks after he tapes them before a game, or else he must re-tape them. And if you’ve been lucky enough to avoid seeing Crosby’s now-infamous shoulder pads and jock, the same ones he’s used for a very, very long time now, our apologies for showing you this:

    Sidney Crosby's nasty jockstrap Sidney Crosby's jockstrap may or may not be radioactive.

    Last, but certainly not least,The Great One’s legendary NHL superstitions and prolific career make him one of the greatest players to ever lace up the skates. Gretzky had the same routine before every game – he would put his gear on in a very specific order: left shinguard, left sock, right shinguard, right sock, pants, left skate, right skate, shoulder pads, left elbow pad, right elbow pad, and finally his jersey, tucking the right side into his pants. In warm-ups, his first shot would always be to the far right of the goal. After warm-ups, he would head back to the dressing room to drink a Diet Coke, a glass of ice water, a Gatorade, and one more Diet Coke. Gretzky was also known for putting baby powder on the blade of his stick. While there is no scientific data that directly correlates baby powder with increased scoring, it clearly worked for Gretzky.

    UMD Bulldogs bleahed their hair for the NCAA Championship UMD Bulldogs bleahed their hair for the NCAA Championship

    Many teams, players, and fans have routines, traditions, and superstitions. Players enter buildings in certain ways, put their gear on in an exact order, and eat at a specific time before a game. We throw hats on the ice to recognize a player scoring three goals and grow our facial hair when our team is in the playoffs. Hockey has some of the strangest, most unique, and easily recognizable NHL superstitions, and these, among many other reasons, make hockey, as cliché as it may sound, the coolest game on the planet.

  • What is the difference between Bauer Vapor sticks?

    Bauer Logo

    The Bauer Vapor line includes the APX 2X100X90X80 and X70 sticks. The APX 2 debuted as this year’s top Bauer model. The rest of the sticks offer similar features to the APX 2 for hockey players of many levels. So, the question is, what is the difference between Bauer Vapor sticks? Why should I get the APX 2? Is the X100 just as good? What does the X80 offer that the X70 doesn't? Let's take a look:

    The X100 stick is a high-end stick with an impressively high level of durability. The X100 features the Intelli-Sense Flex System, a true dual flex-point system based on a player’s hand positioning. During a wrist shot or a snap shot, with a player’s hand higher on the shaft, the stick would flex lower on the shaft for a quick, accurate release. With the Aero Foam 3 Blade core, Bauer lightened the blade without any loss of durability or strength. This stick is perfect for a player who wants something close to a high-end stick with a little more durability. The highest-end sticks have a tendency to have a shorter lifespan than the ones just below it. This is a great stick with a great price tag.

    The X90 is perfect for the player who wants a powerful stick without paying top dollar. The X90 is built with high quality 12K Carbon Fiber throughout the shaft and 3K Carbon Weave throughout the blade, making for a balanced and durable stick. This is a great substitute to the TeXtreme Carbon Fiber used in the APX 2. The Micro Feel II shaft is still featured, giving the X90 a similar feel on the puck and softer edges when shooting. This stick is a weapon for players who don’t want to spend 2 big ones on a new twig, but don't want to sacrifice too much in features either.

    The X80 is a perfect middle of the road stick and offers a large amount of features for the cost. The like the sticks above it, the X80 includes the Aero Foam 3 and the Intelli-Sense Flex System. It features a 2-piece fused blade and shaft design. This stick is the lowest you can go and still get the Vapor premium dual taper and Aero Foam 3 blade. Compared with other sticks in the $100 price range, the X80 is lightweight and durable.

    The X70 is the entry-level vapor line stick. It’s a perfect fit for players who want a good, long-lasting stick at the lowest price. The X70 has a low kick point, which is perfect for quick wrist and snap shots. It’s a great composite stick at the lowest level, featuring a 2-piece fused shaft and blade construction. This stick is for someone who is newer to hockey or doesn’t want to spend $100 on a stick.

    The Vapor line was developed for goal scorers through and through. The Intelli-Sense flex system makes for quick and accurate shots, the new Aero 3 blade adds lifespan to the stick, and the Micro Feel II Shaft gives greater control and comfort in the palm. If you like to score goals, these sticks are for you.

    Which stick is best for you? Do you plan on picking one up? Hopefully this guide helped show the difference between Bauer Vapor sticks. The full Vapor line is available at Discount Hockey, in store and online.

  • Travel Hockey: A Parent's Guide to Travelling

    Travel hockey is a much bigger commitment than in-house hockey or recreational leagues. Financial expenses are higher and demands and expectations are greater. That being said, travel hockey is great fun for the player and his or her whole family. The hockey team becomes an extension of your real-life family. Lifelong friendships can be established between players and parents alike. This travel hockey guide is meant to help inform new parents of what to expect when signing up for travel hockey.

    Travel hockey team celebrating

    The opportunity to travel, see new places, meet new people, and experience the flavor of life other than that of your own hometown is very exciting. My players can look at a map of the United States and point out the dozens of states they have visited for travel hockey. Some have even gone as far as Canada and Europe. That’s amazing!

    What to Expect from Travel Hockey



    You can expect to practice at least a few times a week. There will generally be one or more games over the weekend. Because of this rigorous schedule, striking a balance between hockey and school will be challenging. Often times, players may find themselves having to do homework in the car or at the rink. Keeping your car set up for this is essential! Include a power inverter for laptops, a book light, spare batteries, pens and pencils, spiral notebooks, your player’s textbooks and backpacks, and any other supplies that could be necessary. School, of course, should come first, and playing hockey should be a reward for doing well in school.

    Travel Hockey Tournaments



    There will be both local (within state) and out-of-state tournaments.  Expect tournament fees (unfortunately the ice time and officials are not free), airfare expenses, hotels, meals, transportation to and from rinks, and entertainment – this can all add up pretty quickly.

    Expect to travel over Thanksgiving

    Travel tournaments may also occur over important holidays. You might be asked to participate over Thanksgiving or even Christmas. There will almost certainly be tournaments over President’s Day weekend. Travelling on holiday weekends can be remarkably expensive. Your player’s regular participation is expected, and to not participate would hurt the team. If you cannot fully commit, either financially or because of the time commitment, you should rethink participating in a travel league.

    Now, you must decide if you yourself are attending the tournament. Some parents are comfortable allowing children to attend without them present. Many parents simply enjoy watching enough to willingly bear the added expense of traveling along. In some instances, tournament passes must be purchased for family members to attend the games. This is a means of fundraising for the host team or rink. A great deal of work is involved in hosting these tournaments, so supporting the host team through their fundraising is a legitimate and necessary aspect of participating in tournaments. Remember, we are all in this together, so be supportive of the hockey community in general. We are growing our players and a sport together!

    Level of Competition in Travel Hockey



    Travel hockey is extremely competitive within each league, and having aspirations is important. Because the ultimate goal is to earn an opportunity to advance to the playoffs and continue on to play for a championship, there is a general focus on winning games.  This type of dedication instills values in the players that can translate into other experiences. A good work ethic, working in a team environment, self-discipline, following directions, and setting and achieving goals are all essential for travel hockey and more importantly, essential later in life. Travel hockey is the perfect opportunity to hone these abilities.

    Since the objective of a tournament is to advance as far as you possibly can, the pressure to win is heightened. When the objective is winning, ice time among players is not necessarily equal. While we all want our kids to have as much opportunity as the next player, if their skill set is not comparable to some of their teammates, then their ice time may not be what you are accustomed to in a recreational league. This can be a tough pill to swallow; nevertheless, the goals of the team as a whole take precedence.

    Travel hockey players sitting on a bench

    Your player should ask the coach what to improve upon, which will ultimately lead to getting more ice time. Then, make sure your player does the work needed to advance, either through private lessons, stick time, learning more about the game, or whatever his or her weakness may be. Working on shooting, stick handling, skating, or fitness is also a routine that your player should maintain throughout his or her hockey career, regardless of skill level.

    Remember, too, that each player comes from a different background; one may have been playing for years while another may have just started but shows real promise. Some players may have the benefit of private lessons while others may not. It’s all very individual, and ultimately it is the responsibility of the coach to decide who plays when and where.

    Most importantly of all, enjoy the experience, and support and encourage your player. It is priceless and goes by oh so fast!

    Best of luck,

    Hockey Mom

  • Easton V9 Sticks and V9E Sticks

    The Easton V series takes a new approach to traditional shooting techniques by pushing the shooter to load the stick while only the toe of the blade is in contact with the ice, resulting in a quicker and more accurate release.  The people at Easton noticed that many NHL snap shots from big time goal scorers were being released from the toe portion of the blade rather than the heel. A gradually stiffening toe and softened taper, in unison with new multi-lie curves, allows the player to accept passes on the heel and mid parts of the blade while shooting off of the toe.

    Easton V9 Velocity Load Easton V9 example of a player loading the stick before shooting.

    The flex points of the new V9 and V9E stay consistent with those of their predecessors, the Mako II and RS II, respectively.  The big improvement comes from incorporating a staggered column of ribs into the end of the blade. This creates an increasingly rigid blade called hyper toe. With a stiffened toe section, the mid and heel parts of the blade have been softened to flex in unison with the kick point of the shaft when loaded to shoot. This will provide additional pop to every shot, making up for lost power resulting from releasing so far from the shaft.

    Easton V9 Hyper Toe Easton V9 Blade Construction

    Another aspect of the new line worth highlighting comes from examining what curves most benefit from the hyper toe.  Suggested by Easton, the E3, E28 and E36 are the three patterns with a dual lie that are best tuned for a toe release. With the E28’s aggressive toe pattern, the rocker on the bottom of the toe ramps upwards from the flat bottom rocker of the heel.  I found this very convenient for being able to transition from a stickhandling and passing position on the heel to a snap shot off of the toe.  Since the E3 and the E36 are mid-curves, the release point is going to sit closer to the middle of the blade, as opposed to the toe-oriented E28.

    The inclusion of the E36 is a welcome addition by those who are more accustomed to a curve that shoots off of the center of the blade, like many of the original Easton patterns. In comparison to the E7 curve, which is the other Easton pattern with a mid-curve, lie 5.5, and relatively flat bottom, the E36 has huge rocker on the bottom of the blade. This allows the player to load the stick while the bottom of the blade, the area that is cradling the puck, is making contact with the ice.  Rather than have a flat-bottomed rocker that creates more surface contact like the E7, the smaller amount of blade touching the ice results in a faster release.

    Easton V9 Dual Blade Lie Easton V9 Dual Blade Lie comparison chart

    As far as shaft construction is concerned, the only upgrade was using compression-molded Uni-Carbon in both lines of sticks to maintain fiber alignment, creating a lighter and stronger stick.  This material was already used in the previous Mako II, but was not developed until after the release of the RS II.  Those accustomed to the elliptical taper of the RS II should experience a significant performance and durability upgrade over the compression-molded Kevlar wrap of its predecessor.  Both the V9 and V9E feature raised ribs that run down the middle portion of the shaft to create texture without the use of tacky grip.  Players who do not prefer to use a tacky type of grip will appreciate this added texture, which will provide more control without the need to lock their hands in place.  If you’re using an E4, E5, or E6 curve of the V series, you will be releasing off the heel and therefore not utilizing the hyper toe, but you will benefit from the Uni-Carbon shaft construction improvement on the V9E from the Kevlar weave of the RS II.

    Easton V9 Velocity Tech Chart Easton V9 Velocity Tech Chart

    All in all, the new V-series is a great new addition to the Easton stick line.  It will take a player a few sessions to adjust to this new style of shooting, but for those elite shooters looking to improve release speed and accuracy, the benefits will be undeniable.

    What do you think? Leave us a comment below.

  • APX 2 - The Bauer Vapor APX 2 Stick Review

    Bauer APX 2 - Settle The Score

    Bauer has struck again. With the release of the Vapor APX 2 stick, Bauer has outdone their previous top-of-the-line stick. When the original APX Stick replaced the Vapor X:60 in 2011, it revolutionized the game with the Intelli-sense technology, a true dual flex-point system based on a player’s hand positioning. This meant that for the first time, a stick would change the way it flexed between a slap shot, wrist shot, and snap shot.  There is an abundance of new technology to go along with some improved features from last year’s model.

    Features

    Bauer APX 2 Flex Point The Bauer APX 2 Flex Point Diagram

    The innovative Intelli-sense technology makes its highly favorable return in the Vapor APX 2.  With a player’s hand higher on the shaft, the stick would flex lower on the shaft for a quick, accurate release during a wrist or snap shot. Conversely, when a player takes a slap shot with hands lower on the shaft, the stick flexes higher for a greater load of energy and more power behind the puck. Without having to adjust the hands to a “sweet spot” shooting position, a player can fire quickly and accurately.

    TeXtreme technology carbon fiber was also used in the new design. This extremely lightweight but durable carbon fiber features thinner weaving and less material overall, making it 20% lighter than other carbon fiber used on the market. It is certainly a noticeable difference in weight as well as overall balance across the length of the stick.

    APX 2 Shaft Anatomy The new Bauer APX 2 Shaft Design

    Also making a return in the new APX 2 is the Micro Feel II Shaft. The rounded edges and double concave sidewalls make the shaft fit well in a player’s hands, improving comfort and puck feel throughout the stick. This feature gives the stick a soft feel on the puck, whereas most sticks have sharp edges and rectangular sidewalls. The rounded edge also makes taking slap shots less painful on the palms.

    Another change featured in this year’s top Vapor stick comes from the new internal blade construction. The Aero-Sense blade core with the new Aero Foam 3 core technology is a large improvement over the previous APX. With the new Aero Foam 3 core, Bauer was able to lighten the blade without any loss of durability or strength, while also providing a higher balance point on the shaft and creating a more even weight distribution. Without strength in the blade, it would flex and open up on heavy shots, causing a loss of potential energy and decreasing overall power and accuracy.

    Bauer APX 2 Blade Construction The new Bauer APX 2's new blade has been improved from last year's APX model

    The original APX was a huge success for maintaining a durable blade that could withstand repeated use and retain a rigid “pop” feel. The new blade builds on this with improved vibration absorption when stickhandling and catching passes, making the sense of the puck incredible. Improving the foam also results in less internal cracking over time, radically increasing the life of the blade.

    Another new feature is a rubberized coating throughout the core to reduce impact. The sense layer adds to increased feel when controlling the puck, keeping it on the blade when stickhandling. This stick is far better at receiving passes without the puck bouncing off.

    When shooting, the APX 2 is designed to load not only when it contacts the ice, but also when it comes into contact with the puck, quickly helping to get the puck to maximum velocity. The Vapor lines boast the quickest release of all Bauer’s sticks.

    Bauer uses a molding process unlike any other in the industry. The Monocomp technology eliminates a fusion point between the shaft and the blade, doing away with the need for any excess materials like glue or foam. The stick therefore has a lighter overall weight and a more balanced feel. Bauer’s eLASTech is a design which uses carbon nanotubes to help stop cracks from forming or spreading throughout the stick, increasing the lifespan of the stick.

    Player Profile 

    The APX 2 is now the most versatile stick Bauer makes. It is an ideal choice for a range of players looking for a lightweight, high-end stick. The dual-flex makes this stick a shooter’s favorite weapon, able to switch from quick snap shots to powerful one-timers seamlessly. Its lightweight and incredible puck feel makes this an excellent option for the dirty danglers out there as well, making quick hands even quicker. For players looking to improve their game, this stick will greatly increase the quality of shots taken from any position on the ice. This is a perfect stick for anyone from advanced players with a lot of experience using high-performance sticks, to players looking to step into the top-end market. The APX 2 offers something for everyone.

    My Take

    I got the chance to take the new APX 2 out on the ice and my thoughts are as follows. Immediately, I could tell how light the stick was, but it was very evenly distributed weight. Typically, when the overall weight of the stick is reduced, a player might find it to be light in the shaft but blade-heavy; this is not true of the APX 2. After picking up a puck I noticed the stick had a very soft feel to it. I knew exactly where the puck was on the blade and it didn’t have a rigid or hard puck feel. The stick has a very nice feel up the shaft’s length, being neither so hollow nor so solid that the sensitivity is lost.

    Stickhandling is very fluid and didn’t take any adjustment time. The responsiveness was evident when going through deke drills; the puck didn’t want to leave my stick. Shooting was by far the best part of using the APX 2. Beginning with my first shot taken, the puck went exactly where I intended for it to go. I went through various shot types. When taking controlled wrist shots, the release was smooth and quick. Slap shots were powerful, and I could feel the fluid energy transfer through the shaft with very little recoil in my hands. The stick does a great job of absorbing pass impact, keeping the puck from bouncing away or over the blade on those long cross ice passes.

    Overall, the APX 2 is a very enjoyable stick. Stickhandling was crisper, and shots were harder and more accurate with less effort required to load the stick. I will definitely be picking one up for myself.

    Pro’s Choice

    There are lots of Pro players using the APX 2. Last season, players like Nicklas Backstrom, Patrick Kane, and Claude Giroux were all spotted premiering the new Vapor twig. This is certainly a goal scorer’s stick. Evander Kane and Tyler Seguin netted plenty of goals while wielding this new instrument. You can expect the list of players using this stick in the show to increase during the next season. Keep a lookout and see if your favorite player decides to take up the new top Vapor stick.

    Bauer's Nicklas Backstrom using the Bauer APX 2 “It’s very important to feel the puck on the blade, it’s a big part of your game and you have to have the right feeling. You want the puck stuck to your blade when receiving a pass.” Nicklas Backstrom, #19
    Bauer's Patrick Kane using the Bauer APX 2 “It’s very light, it feels good in your hands. Whether its controlling the puck, making a pass, taking a shot, or making a deke on the goalie you feel comfortable with it.” Patrick Kane, #88
    Bauer's Evander Kane using the Bauer APX 2 “Whether I'm taking a slap shot, a snapshot or a quick wrister, it definitely reacts the way I need it to on the ice.” - Evander Kane, #9

    The Vapor Family

    The rest of the Bauer Vapor line includes the X100, X90, X80 and X70 sticks. These sticks offer similar features to the APX 2 for hockey players of all levels.

    The X100 stick is a top-end stick with a higher level of durability. The X100 still features the Intelli-Sense Flex system and Aero Foam 3 Blade as well as the Pure Shot Blade Profile found in the APX 2.

    The X90 is built with high quality 12k carbon fiber throughout the shaft and 3k carbon weave throughout the blade for a balanced, durable stick. The X90 is perfect for the player who wants a great stick without paying top dollar.

    The X80 is a great middle-of-the-road stick and offers a great value in features for the cost. The like the sticks above it, the X80 includes the Aero Foam 3, the Intelli-Sense flex system and the Pure Shot Blade profile.

    The X70 is the entry-level vapor line stick. It’s a perfect fit for a player who wants a good, durable stick at the lowest price. The X70 has a low kick point, perfect for quick wrist and snap shots.

    The entire Vapor line is out now and available at Discount Hockey, in store and online.

    Will you be settling the score?

  • Hockey Drills for Your Team

    Discount Hockey Team Sales

    Ice hockey is considered a game of good sportsmanship,which encourages a group of individuals to come together and play as a team. Yes, some players have a higher skill level than others, as they can take the puck from one end of the ice and weave through a defense untouched to score a goal.

    Bad hockey teams have poor win-lost records because chemistry was never created inside the locker room. The coaching staff never defined the ultimate goal of playing as one.

    In the offseason, all head coaches are looking for different ways to improve their hockey team, whether it's a new workout technique or a different practicing drills. Often, they'll speak with other coaches on how they run a practice, seeing if any their tactics might be useful for their own hockey team.

    Here are hockey drills for your team:

    Warmup Drills
    A great warmup drill to start practice is having the team work on one-touch passing by moving the puck from one defensive point to the other before a shot is taken on the net. The drill begins with a forward passing the puck back to the defenseman holding the far point position, who then immediately sends the puck cross ice to his defensive partner at the near point position. He patiently waits for the forward to skate towards the top of the faceoff circle, where he'll send a pass for a one-time shot.

    Stickhandling Drills
    This drill begins by placing two players on the end line at both sides of the ice. On the coach's whistle, the players will skate towards center ice and begin handling the puck along the outer rim of the circle without leaving the perimeter. On the next whistle, then the players leave center ice and begin skating towards the net to take a slapshot.

    Passing Drills
    Not every player has the vision to be a great playmaker, as the art of making the right pass with the puck is rare. To improve this skill, coaches have the entire team facing the boards at center ice, then a forward skates toward the offensive zone. Once they stride past the blue line, the player at the end of the line will send a pinpoint pass onto their stick. The forward will skate around several cones before taking a shot on the goalkeeper. This drill helps to develop better passing skills around the crease area.

    Need Gear for Your Team?






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