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2020 - The Year of the Gear


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17 minutes ago, RichMan said:

Trade secrets (cutting corners) exposed is a company's version of the Grim Reaper. As consumers, we need to know this to protect ourselves and our wallets.

As an avid cyclist (ex racer) myself, I'm sure the industry has a large dark cloud hovering over them on this topic, especially the carbon industry.

Composites can be very shiny, very pretty on outside and very shitty on the inside. It is the ultimate material to hide shortcuts.

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On 1/1/2020 at 5:04 PM, TheGoalNet said:

The Year of the Gear

Maybe I am getting too sensitive to a few comments on the ‘gram, maybe this whole TGN thing has gotten big enough that’s its not “cottage” anymore, maybe the equipment companies are putting a larger focus on social selling, or maybe it’s inevitable that some haters got picked up along the way… but it feels like there is some skepticism in my posts about some of the 2020 releases. For my money, 2020 is going to be looked back at one of the best years for new gear in history… Is there a better way to kick off the new decade?

Did I queue any eye rolls yet? Probably and figured I’d get a few… let’s flush this out though and see why there’s so much hype. But, before we go on though, please consider one thing first… My credibility is on the line anytime I say something like “get excited about new product X”.

I will be the first to admit that TGN is supposed to be fun. I never want goalie pad graphics or glove breaks to be taken too seriously. However, please don’t overlook that it’s taken an immense amount of work to get everything TheGoalNet related to this point. There’s been a ton of help along the way, it’s not a solo effort at all, and I truly appreciate all the contributions from the #GoalieCrowd or the insider company support.

The one thing that is most personally tied to my credibility is the reviews. If I say something has hot rebounds and it does not, this could all fizzle out pretty abruptly. If it’s not obvious, I take what is said in the reviews seriously. It’s my hope that the reviews and deep dives are informative and educational to everyone. Pro level goalie gear is insanely expensively and I want to make sure no one is wasting their cash. With this approach, it’s my hope that I have built up some credibility within the #GoalieCrowd.

That anticipated credibility is what sparked this article. I would never say a product is good if it stunk. I would never be interested in a piece of gear if it didn’t have an interesting story around it. That brings us to 2020... This year IS going to be VERY exciting.

Since TGN has started, there’s never been a bigger year in goalie equipment. Many could argue that in recent memory 2014 was bigger with OD1N’s first emergence or GNetik and EFlex both launching as 2013 product was a massive year… But, TGN Didn’t exist then.



The biggest launch to date since TheGoalNet has started was Optik. Looking back 2 full years later, Optik was a much bigger release than I realized in the moment. I feel like many of the new products we have seen since then are definitely Optik inspired and it’s a topic that sorta flies under the radar.



That’s the perfect tie in to 2020 products because Optik 2 was the first to release. As mentioned a moment ago, Optik is a pad that seems to be very often imitated. As to be expected with any completely new product in any space, there were a couple oversights with that line. To put this in context, let’s not forgot iPhone 1 didn’t launch with picture messaging. I love that Brian’s was very open about updating those features with Optik 2 and it truly is Brian’s most polished line to date.  The glove is the best I have used thus far. The Max core pads deliver on being more stable than FLY or FLX.



In summary, Brian’s took all of the great performance of Optik and corrected the few shortcomings. It’s a very complete product without many holes in it… Exactly how’d you want someone to describe the technical aspect of your game, right?



And for the stuff not yet at retail, I can safely to get excited...Even with my credibility on the line!

With everyone doing “best of the decade” lists, it’s tough not to reflect that mentality with goalie pads. I would say that OD1N / 1S was the biggest release of the last decade. To me, it awoke the sleeping giant that was the goalie department of hockey’s biggest brand. In hindsight, it completely changed how we talked about goalie pads. “How fast do they slide?”, “how big  are the rebounds?”, or “is that graphic printed?” are not topics before discussed before OD1N.



In 2020, Bauer is providing the biggest update to their line since the 1S. With each new Supreme and Vapor release since 1S in 2016, Bauer has subtly evolved the product line. With a technologically advanced base product to start with, Bauer has had the fortune of just focusing on refinement. Improving the durability, making custom options available at retail, etc have been their focus. I think the 2X Pro was the culmination of those efforts.



With Supreme Ultra Sonic, Bauer is back to surprising the market with new features. Unfortunately, can’t share too much at this time, but there is something on the pads that is a first to market feature. It’s something I had been wondering about for years and was curious why it wasn’t on pads… I had just assumed it was considered “too performance enhancing” by the NHL and illegal. Fortunately for us, its not and I can’t wait to try it.



With the gloves, Bauer has continued to refine the product line as referenced above. I believe Ultra Sonic’s new internal features on the glove and blocker will win over some of the previous skeptics. My self-included in that group. If I was doing superlatives, I would not rate the current Bauer gloves as the most comfortable… That could change.  


Anyone heard of Axis? This is CCM’s first completely new line since 2013. It replaces what is probably the most iconic line goaltending history with the Premier.  As with the other unreleased gear, the technical specifications of unreleased gear needs to be respected… but I feel like CCM truly made a goalie pad designed to fit exactly what today’s goalies are asking for. This is based off Premier and EFlex feedback from their number 1 position in the NHL, feeder leagues, and at retail. Although this pad replaces the Premier, I could definitely see CCM converting some goalies who would traditionally custom order a stiffer version of the EFlex too.



Warrior is a brand that I have yet to demo, but I feel like they have one of the most loyal followings of any brands. It feels like once Warrior converts a goalie with the recent releases, they rarely go back. It’s also extremely impressive considering they don’t rely on the NHL based marketing scheme that nearly any other major brand has relied on since the beginning of hockey equipment.



With the G5, I expect Warrior to enhance their existing product. I think the interesting part will be how they tell us about the new features. I would look for Warrior to explain the technology in their product and how it can benefit you as a goalie like we’ve never seen before.

Vaughn is another brand I have not spent too much time on ice with. I have demoed a couple different Velocity pads over the years and used some Jimmy Howard pro return stuff for a few months. I have not personally tested any of the newer Velocity or SLR lines. With V9, it feels like Vaughn is updating a lot of the items they been “chirped” about over the years.



The VE8 magnetic straps and carbon impregnated plastic are gone in favor of technology I believe goalies will respect. According to the marking literature I have seen, Vaughn has added full Velcro strapping and true carbon fiber inside the product. The Quick Slide, which debuted on SLR2, is on the pads as well. To me, at the moment, Vaughn is the most conservative brand in the industry. Goalies are usually able to jump from 1 release to another without skipping a beat. I anticipate the V9 to be Vaughn’s best Velo to date and also something people should be able to easily convert to from V7 or VE8.





Last, but definitely not least, is the reemergence of Lefevre. In another day or 2, we will know the specifics of what’s next. Their manufacturing partnership with CCM, serving the pro goalie clientele, has ended. There’s 8,000 rumors circling, but not concrete facts are public yet. I am pretty confident that the next steps for Lefevre do NOT involve True or Warrior, as some have speculated, but I will be waiting for this announcement with the rest of the #GoalieCrowd. I do not know the full story yet either… With whatever they do, I expect to see their gear in the NHL immediately. I wouldn’t expect Lefevre to vacate the NHL like JRZ did when the Bauer relationship ended.

So for anyone who wonders why there is soooooooo much hype on social media around the 2020 releases… Do ya get it now?!?!?!?!

TGN- can you elaborate on the Brian’s Max core, have been looking around the site and can’t seem to find anything. Also have you provided an update on your TGN spec Optik 2 pads ??

i would also like to know if you know what the time line is for the CCM Axis will they come out this spring ?

Finally the Bauer Supreme pads have picked my curiosity - again are they coming out this spring ?

Will you be getting demos for both the CCM and Bauer’s??

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15 hours ago, Big2 said:

TGN- can you elaborate on the Brian’s Max core, have been looking around the site and can’t seem to find anything. Also have you provided an update on your TGN spec Optik 2 pads ??

i would also like to know if you know what the time line is for the CCM Axis will they come out this spring ?

Finally the Bauer Supreme pads have picked my curiosity - again are they coming out this spring ?

Will you be getting demos for both the CCM and Bauer’s??

Bauer and CCM is the same release as always. Sometime in the spring.

Yes, I will have demos of both.

Max core is less torsionally flexible than fly or flx... however, in terms of what stiff can be... it's not crazy like a 2S Pro. The thigh rise and knee and do give. It flexes top down, but not side to side

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