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Insider Info: The CCM / Lefevre Pro Stock Masks


TheGoalNet
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Today was one of those really cool days when the power of the social media was unleashed. Before we can dive into the success, we should revisit the history. . .

I’ve been fascinated with Lefebvre masks since I was a kid, I just didn’t know it at the time. The Hockey Company released Heaton and Koho branded masks in the late 90s and I was extremely disappointed they were clearly not the helmets of my idols. I knew that Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, Stephane Fiset, Jaclyn Thibault, and Dominic Roussel had cool helmets.

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(Photo:Edited From Total Hockey). 

I knew they didn’t look like anything that I could buy at retail. I didn’t know what these things were. I didn’t how to go about getting my hands on one. In fairness, I am child of the 90s and the internet was not what it is today. Google didn’t exist yet.

 

 

Sometime in college-ish, I read a bulletin board topic about Protechsport and I learned the basic history about Lefebvre masks and that they were indeed available to the public.

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(prolaces vintage 1970s QMJHL Michel Lefebvre built mask)

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(Photo:Pinterest)

Unfortunately, the timing didn’t line up with my need to purchase a mask and I still didn’t get one. A few years ago when CCM announced that they were launching a pro-level Leferve designed mask at retail with an updated shell design, I was ecstatic. When I finally saw pictures of the mask, I instantly loved the design. After reading an article at the launch of the helmet, I immediately noticed that Giguere’s mask had a screw in the back of the harness that the retail mask did not.

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However, the shells looked nearly identical and I assumed this was some sort of pro stock option. I also noticed that Cary Price’s, and others, mask(s) evolved over time.  

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They started off with a single bar cat-eye and switched to a double bar.

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The following season, I noticed that Carey Price’s helmet only had 1 ear hole. 

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This further peaked my interest about the differences between a pro stock and retail CCM / Leferve mask.

Now back to social media actually working. Today I was contacted on Instagram by "coffrey_907" who bought a pro stock CCM mask and shared some detailed photos showing the differences between his mask and the retail mask. Now this is where it gets really interesting, I was then contacted by "prolaces" who is a personal friend of Patrick Lefebvre! The ensuing conversation was amazing and I learned everything I could have imaged and more.

Michel (prolaces) currently owns 3 CCM / Lefevre  pro masks. He confirmed that Michel Lefebvre made the masks for the NHL until 1998 and then Protechsport took over building the old style masks.

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(prolaces 1995 authentic Michel Lefebvre built mask) 

The new shells are built at Aeronautique (Bombardier) in Montreal and then go to the Leferve factory for finish padding. Masks are sold to NHL teams for $2000 and the typical DaveArt level paint job is another $1000.

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prolaces collection of new CCM / Leferve masks consists of 1 mask that is the original style with 2 ear holes and single bar cage and 2 shells have the single ear hole and double bar.

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The reason the design of the mask was changed for 2 reasons. Most importantly, Carey Price requested some and secondly the NHL rules. Newer NHL rules limit seeing the backplate through a sidewall ventaltion hole. The solution was to move the hole or remove it. Removing it added additonal space for artwork and made the most sense. It was too late to change the production run at retail, but all the pro masks were changed over to match his new spec. This explains the subtle design differences between the pro stock and retail shells. Michel swears this mask is the lightest and best available.  He previously wore the old style Lefebvre and Bauer masks. The current pro stock shells are available in 3 sizes, S, M, L. Each mask then has 3 padding fits available 1, 2, or 3. The padding in the crown of the mask is a fully wrapping VN foam.

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Michel’s newer buckets are a medium fit 2 and his original is a medium fit 3. 

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The pros also have a few more options available to them. They have a pick of their cage material between Ti and Steel. The location of the cage is goalie specific with your choice of high, centered, or low. As made famous with the Protechsport style Lefebvre masks, pros can pick between the legendary chin sling or more common chin cup. 

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Lastly they have their choose between a standard or long chin.

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Price is in a standard chin and Crawford is in a long. It’s safe to say that retail will be getting an updated version of the CCM / Leferve pro mask and it’s going match the Price design shell. However, the retail shells will still be made in China. You need to know a Lefebvre or have an NHL roster spot to get a Canadian made one.

As they say, “the best times come out of the blue”. This afternoon was completely unexpected, but shows off the upside of today’s connected world. I’ve never met prolaces in person, but we had one of the coolest chats of my life. Next to speaking to Michel or Patrick Lefebvre, this conversation was about as close as you could come to speaking to the legendary first family of goaltending.

PS – If anyone happens to want a Medium fit 3, I might have a lead on one…

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1 hour ago, Snowman30 said:

Another great article. I am also interested in the back plate, seems a little odd.

I'll see what I can find out 

I got enough history on Michel Lefebvre for an article in itself. I'm convinced that I'm secretly talking to Michel.

Makes me sad I don't have my 580s, P1s and makes me want to scour eBay for some 530s... 

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9 minutes ago, TheGoalNet said:

I'll see what I can find out 

I got enough history on Michel Lefebvre for an article in itself. I'm convinced that I'm secretly talking to Michel.

Makes me sad I don't have my 580s, P1s and makes me want to scour eBay for some 530s... 

Just look him up on FB.  Tell him you run a BB for goalies and would love 10-15 minutes of his time for a piece you wanna write.

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17 hours ago, SaveByRichter35 said:

Oh, no sorry, Dogineri or however you spell it.  The Protechsport guy.  I lost track with all of the Michel's in the post, sorry.  

Oh, I meant that I think I am secretly talking to Michel Lefebvre. Michel D said he is too busy to participate right now

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On 3/10/2017 at 12:35 PM, TheGoalNet said:

Michel D said he is too busy to participate right now

I like that response from Michel D (i'm waiting on a mask haha). Hopefully he comes around though.  

Also, fantastic write-up.  Great info that I've been wondering about for a long time.  Thanks for sharing.  

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  • 2 months later...
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So I guess CCM is branching out with their pro masks, looks like the SHL goalies can now get the Canadian-made masks too:

You can see the stick on the inside that says "MADE IN CANADA." Is this just them branching out into more leagues or are they just trying to get some guys into them that they think will one day make the NHL?

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  • 4 months later...
49 minutes ago, dstew29 said:

@TheGoalNet Cool story and write up. It's painful to not be able to see a single image in your original post though! I'm using a Chrome browser so maybe thats the issue? Anyone else have trouble seeing those pictures?

Oddly enough I can see the price and boyle cage pics you just posted...

I'm also using Chrome and didn't have this issue the last time I was in this thread at the end of last October. I wonder if there was some sort of server memory loss?

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1 hour ago, SaveByRichter35 said:

The only difference I can see is the lowest bar by the bottom lip has a smaller gap with the outer frame bar of the cage.  Hard to see any other differences with those green squares covering so much of the cage.

I really wish a manufacturer would really come up with a solution to dreaded green rectangle. I can't even remember how many goals I've let in due to that. 

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