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Brian Heaton History Thread

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There are a handful of guys that completely revolutionized gear in the 80s and 90s. John Brown, Jerry Wright, Greg Harrison, Mike Vaughn, Michel Lefebvre, Pete Smith, and Brian Heaton. 

I find Brian's history the most fascinating and thought other people could share their knowledge of his "industry time line" or correct errors in mine

  • Industrial Design Degree 
  • Works at Cooper - Designs Cooperalls, brings color to player gloves, and uses the "Tuff Stuff" & "Dura Soft" to minimize the use of leather in goalie gear and reduce weight 
  • Starts Brian's Custom Pro Shop in Windsor - Fixes gear there and develops the famed Brian's Star Logo. Store is still open today! 
  • Begins work on Brian's branded gear 
  • Instant hit and tries to buyout financial backer. Financial backer utilizes the fine print to buyout Brian
  • Brian starts Heaton. Instant hit number 2. Helite 2 and Olaf Kolzig are the first retail graphic option
  • Around the start of Helite 3-ISH (early 90s). Heaton is purchased by Karhu (Koho, Jofa, Titan, Canadien)
  • Brian continues with Heaton brand and supports update and re-launch of Koho goalie gear 
  • CCM acquires Karhu in late 90s and forms The Hockey Company 
  • Brian leaves for TPS after Heaton 6 (or Launch of Heaton 8!?!). Designs XHale, Contour, and utilizes Brock material 
  • Comes back to CCM for Heaton 10 and Blockade. Blockade is way ahead of it's time, but a commercial failure. 
  • Brian departs again from The Hockey Company to form BHG as direct to consumer 

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So Heaton was responsible for those HORRIBLE Cooper-somes that plagued my leagues in the late ‘80s! The girdle concept was fantastic! Oddly enough, the Cooper-some lives on in Roller hockey...

I’d love to read the history, myself.

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29 minutes ago, bunnyman666 said:

So Heaton was responsible for those HORRIBLE Cooper-somes that plagued my leagues in the late ‘80s! The girdle concept was fantastic! Oddly enough, the Cooper-some lives on in Roller hockey...

I’d love to read the history, myself.

Correct. The girdle was part of that design and the Cooperall Coupe (modern shell). He had the right idea of making a lighter uniform. They do that with every reiteration. He just went too far off the reservation... 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperalls

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8 hours ago, TheGoalNet said:

There are a handful of guys that completely revolutionized gear in the 80s and 90s. John Brown, Jerry Wright, Greg Harrison, Mike Vaughn, Michel Lefebvre, Pete Smith, and Brian Heaton. 

I find Brian's history the most fascinating and thought other people could share their knowledge of his "industry time line" or correct errors in mine

  • Industrial Design Degree 
  • Works at Cooper - Designs Cooperalls, brings color to player gloves, and uses the "Tuff Stuff" & "Dura Soft" to minimize the use of leather in goalie gear and reduce weight 
  • Starts Brian's Custom Pro Shop in Windsor - Fixes gear there and develops the famed Brian's Star Logo. Store is still open today! 
  • Begins work on Brian's branded gear 
  • Instant hit and tries to buyout financial backer. Financial backer utilizes the fine print to buyout Brian
  • Brian starts Heaton. Instant hit number 2. Helite 2 and Olaf Kolzig are the first retail graphic option
  • Around the start of Helite 3-ISH (early 90s). Heaton is purchased by Karhu (Koho, Jofa, Titan, Canadien)
  • Brian continues with Heaton brand and supports update and re-launch of Koho goalie gear 
  • CCM acquires Karhu in late 90s and forms The Hockey Company 
  • Brian leaves for TPS after Heaton 6 (or Launch of Heaton 8!?!). Designs XHale, Contour, and utilizes Brock material 
  • Comes back to CCM for Heaton 10 and Blockade. Blockade is way ahead of it's time, but a commercial failure. 
  • Brian departs again from The Hockey Company to form BHG as direct to consumer 

Lets not forget...never played goal in his life. Who would of thought.

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7 minutes ago, RichMan said:

Lets not forget...never played goal in his life. Who would of thought.

More goalie gear designers than you’d think never strapped on pads...

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I think he's more than responsible for some of the best stuff to happen to goalie gear, really. Though that could be said about any of the big guys you listed as well.

Always loved all my Brian's and Heaton equipment.

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I believe he also designed the HM30 cage (and HM40 for forwards), which is still the basis for all cateye cages today

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On 2/24/2018 at 9:17 AM, bc30 said:

I believe he also designed the HM30 cage (and HM40 for forwards), which is still the basis for all cateye cages today

Brian Heaton is already someone I pray to. But this too? No wonder why the big guy took him too early. He needed some new gear up there.

Jesusworeacombo-1.jpg

JesussavesVaughn-1.jpg

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Cool thread - I love Brian Heaton and so much of his gear. I never had much Heaton gear as a younger guy (aside from the sticks, which is all I used). Heaton gear - particularly Brodeur models - was so prevalent in the pro-shops in North Jersey in the late 90's and early 2000's, and tons of kids were head-to-toe in Helite IV / Helite 6 / Helite 10 gear. Since I was already a Brodeur fanatic, I was a little too sheepish to wear Heaton gear. I sure regret that now... I've basically fetishized that loopy script logo!

I was able to snag a BHG Eyewall blocker in white/black/silver (my colors) off of eBay in 2010, and I'm very thankful that I was able to get some of his gear before he passed. I love the blocker, and plan on re-palming it until it's dust.

The one Heaton thing that I looked for in vain my whole life has been a nice Helite III stick like the one Brodeur has here. I just think it's the best looking stick I've come across. Sadly, they were out of the stores by the time I started playing (I used to order a similar looking intermediate Helite 5 stick). Anyone have one buried in their garage? Let me know...

 mavens-haven_marty_celebrity_feed_20160205.jpg.eb8eabdeba8429a8c92eec6f4a231b03.jpg

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At 6'2", I'd say definitely a Senior... though I love that stick so much, I'm sure I could crouch reallllly low and make it work :)

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I remember hearing how big Heaton was back in the 90s. Saw a lot of their gear up close and played around with it. But any store that had Heaton also had Koho. And for me, Koho was king and I never even considered another brand. So unfortunately I never owned one "big" piece of Heaton equipment. What I mean by that is I had a very nice chest/arm unit  of that brand but otherwise nothing else ever. I have to say I hated the fact that every goalie I played against that had Heaton only had the Brodeur color scheme set up. And I absolutely LOATHED Brodeur. That white/black/red color combination that was his made me so angry cus I hated Brodeur. But  I saw the allure though and could appreciate of how nice it was built.

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Loved my Pro 90Z gloves back in Minor Hockey... Rocked them with my Cooper Reactor Pads.

H10's were always my unicorn pads... Always wanted a set but could never find any in my size.  Could be argued that them and Velocity were the first pads design for rotation on the leg

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5 minutes ago, ULTIMA said:

I remember hearing how big Heaton was back in the 90s. Saw a lot of their gear up close and played around with it. But any store that had Heaton also had Koho. And for me, Koho was king and I never even considered another brand. So unfortunately I never owned one "big" piece of Heaton equipment. What I mean by that is I had a very nice chest/arm unit  of that brand but otherwise nothing else ever. I have to say I hated the fact that every goalie I played against that had Heaton only had the Brodeur color scheme set up. And I absolutely LOATHED Brodeur. That white/black/red color combination that was his made me so angry cus I hated Brodeur. But  I saw the allure though and could appreciate of how nice it was built.

Guess I’ll count you out of the running for my Helite VI Brodeurs...

:challengeaccepted:

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Just now, bunnyman666 said:

Guess I’ll count you out of the running for my Helite VI Brodeurs...

:challengeaccepted:

Do that. lol

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54 minutes ago, ULTIMA said:

I remember hearing how big Heaton was back in the 90s. Saw a lot of their gear up close and played around with it. But any store that had Heaton also had Koho. And for me, Koho was king and I never even considered another brand. So unfortunately I never owned one "big" piece of Heaton equipment. What I mean by that is I had a very nice chest/arm unit  of that brand but otherwise nothing else ever. I have to say I hated the fact that every goalie I played against that had Heaton only had the Brodeur color scheme set up. And I absolutely LOATHED Brodeur. That white/black/red color combination that was his made me so angry cus I hated Brodeur. But  I saw the allure though and could appreciate of how nice it was built.

I hated Murray Bannerman but LOVED his masque. I can identify with what you’re saying.

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9 hours ago, stackem30 said:

Anyone have one buried in their garage? Let me know...

I have one buried in my workshop. Heaton 5 though

DDB397F4-C892-4756-AE9A-E943C89DA83B.jpeg

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11 hours ago, craig said:

I have one buried in my workshop. Heaton 5 though

DDB397F4-C892-4756-AE9A-E943C89DA83B.jpeg

Still, it's got the same look... beautiful! Let me know if you ever want to part with it ;)

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Great thread. Im very keen on the subject of Brian Heaton as I used both Brian's and Heaton gear in high school. Dont forget Brian heaton invented the first glove with a solid thumb/cheater design that every goalie gear manufacturer copied. He also invented the verticle medial roll which was like the outside lateral roll but was smaller and on the inner side of the pad helping in a more square butterfly and adding more blocking surface. Another important piece of gear he invented was the puck foil. Which added more blocking surface to the botton of the pad in front of the skate. Also making it easier to attach the pad to your skate via toe tie instead of traditional buckles. Oh and dont forget the mini knee bars that fit between the knee rolls adding a graphic element as well as better protection. Oh and how can you forget the padded practice jersey? I had one. Kinda weird to wear but it was effective in preventing injuries from high shots during practice. 

Brian made his first goalie glove in 1983. He started Brian's with partner Sonny Stomp in 1984. He left Brian's and started Heaton in 1988, etc. 

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