Total Hockey launches HockeyGreen, a program to recycle composite hockey sticks

An innovative new program called HockeyGreen is being launched by equipment retailer Total Hockey, to get players to recycle their composite hockey sticks, and receive a $10 credit towards a new purchase. A press release today outlined some of the details: [Read more...]

How to save money on hockey equipment during Memorial Day Weekend 2011

If you’re looking to pick up some hockey equipment or accessories in advance of the summer season, HockeyMonkey has a special running this Memorial Day Weekend, good from May 26 – 30, 2011. Make sure to head over to HockeyMonkey.com and during the checkout process, you’ll want to use the special coupon code MEMDAY2011 to get 20% off your order.

HockeyMonkey Coupon Code: Now through April 28 2014, save 10% on ALL ORDERS using coupon code EASTER10!

I know I need to look into some new shin guards myself, and I may start by going through their clearance section, which usually has some good deals available. Just as an example, today they have some Bauer Supreme One75 Sr. Shin Guards, normally $79.99, listed at $49.98. I can then take 20% off of that with the offer code MEMDAY2011, and save about $40 in total!

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Conference championship gear – will Vancouver Canucks fans buy much now?

With Vancouver Canucks Western Conference Champions gear available now at ESPNShop.com, I have to wonder how many fans, even the diehard supporters of their team, will buy these t-shirts, hats, etc. right now. After all, with the Stanley Cup Final set for next week, doesn’t the purchase of “Conference Champions” gear carry an underlying message that perhaps you don’t think your team will win the whole thing, especially for fans with a limited budget?

Get your Canucks 2011 NHL Western Champs Gear at Fanatics

A Conference Championship is a special achievement, and I have to say that one of my biggest pet peeves about the NHL is this absurd notion that the captain of the conference-winning team so often refuses to touch the trophy (in this case, the Clarence Campbell Bowl), as if that’s a sign that “no, we can’t celebrate too early, we still have a mission ahead of us.” [Read more...]

Easton Synergy EQ5 hockey skates on incredible one-day discount at HockeyMonkey

I wanted to draw your attention today to a special Daily Deal (5/26/2011) at HockeyMonkey on Easton Synergy EQ5 hockey skates, which are offered at an incredibly steep discount!

Easton Synergy EQ5 Hockey Skates

The Easton Synergy EQ5 Sr. Hockey Skate, regularly $659.99, is just $199.97 today only at HockeyMonkey. The Easton Synergy EQ5 Jr. Skate, normally $359.99, is just $139.97. Those are huge savings!

HockeyMonkey Coupon Code: Now through April 28 2014, save 10% on ALL ORDERS using coupon code EASTER10!

In the video below, Easton presents some of the features of the Synergy EQ5, including testimony from NHL stars like Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils, and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins. I’d be interested to compare these with the MLX Custom skates which I reviewed recently.

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Save $15 on The Sporting News with special coupon code

Hockey fans know that The Sporting News is one of the few general sports magazines which provides decent coverage of the NHL, and now there’s an opportunity to save big on a subscription. While the newsstand price for a year of The Sporting News would run you $49.40, and a subscription would cost $40, you can save $15 off that with the special offer code “SAVE15″ at MagazinesUSA.com, bringing your annual price to just $25. Just follow this link (or click the magazine cover below), and make sure to enter the discount code “SAVE15″ during the checkout process to take advantage of this deal. [Read more...]

Clearance hockey sticks are an extra 15% off with coupon code at HockeyMonkey through May 22

I wanted to pass word along about a special Weekend Blowout at HockeyMonkey.com running through Sunday, May 22 2011, which offers an extra 15% off on hockey sticks, shafts and blades in their Clearance Section. Make sure you use the special offer code HKSBWBO2011 to take advantage of this extra discount, which can save you big $$$ over retail. [Read more...]

MLX Skates review – a fresh approach to high-performance hockey skates

When the folks at MLX Skates contacted me about reviewing their new custom hockey skates, I wondered just how much of a difference high-end skates could make for a recreational player. After all, as a middle-aged beer leaguer whose best playing days were 15 years and 40 pounds ago, what kind of impact would better wheels provide? The answer? Plenty…

Comfort & Customization

The first thing one notices when looking at these skates is the number of ways in which they can be customized to an individual player’s needs. Just about every aspect of the boot and skate can be maneuvered, then secured to properly match that person’s physique and skating stride. This starts, of course, with the baking process which molds the interior of the boot to your individual foot shape. This isn’t a unique feature to MLX Skates, but it is the foundation of having that “custom feel”. Like any boot, you’ll still need to take it out for a couple sessions of open skating to break it in, but once that was done, I was amazed at how comfortable and responsive these skates felt. Simply put, it was more like wearing a basketball shoe on ice than the typical, clunky feel of a hockey skate. In the video below, company founder David Cruikshank talks about how bringing some characteristics from the speedskating world make the MLX Skate unique:

This is just one of many “how to” videos available on the MLX website which help explain the various features of the skate, and how to best utilize them. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the various bolts need to be monitored periodically, as they can come loose over the course of time. I lost one right before hitting the ice for a game recently, and it became a big problem that night. So just remember, that extra level of customization and comfort does require a bit of maintenance. When shipped, the skates do include extra bolts, nuts & washers, and if for some reason you lose those, you can order replacements easily.

Protection & Performance

One of my favorite features on the MLX Skate is the tendon guard, which is designed to provide maximum protection while still allowing the ankle to flex freely. With most skates, a stiff leather tendon guard leaves the skater two options. First, you can tape it snugly against the back of your leg, which then causes tugging and resistance while you’re trying to skate, or secondly, you can leave it loose and run the risk of suffering a terrible injury if another player’s skate blade sweeps through that area. With the MLX Skate, you can get the protection you need while still enjoying that essential freedom of movement.

That combination of form fitting to each skater’s individual foot, along with the flexible protective elements and incredibly lightweight composite materials, make for a skate which not only responds well to what you’re trying to do out there, but bolsters a skater’s confidence. I’ve noticed while playing defense, for example, that quickly reversing direction and getting into backward strides has been much easier and more natural in these skates than anything I’ve used before. When you have that assurance in your mind as a player, that allows you to actively engage in the action, rather than play hesitantly and worry about not being able to react in time.

At a suggested retail price of $799.99 these certainly aren’t for the entry-level or cash-strapped hockey player. Currently, they are offering them at an introductory price of $599.99, and you can purchase clearance hockey skates with cosmetic defects (but full protection & performance) for $100 less than that. If you’re willing to make a bit of an investment in your game, however, establishing a solid foundation from the ice up with MLX custom hockey skates could make a fine choice.

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4 Great Hockey Training Resources For Skaters And Goalies

As we approach the end of hockey season, it’s time to think about off-ice hockey training, and getting yourself organized with the proper program and equipment to both get the best results, and help protect yourself from injury. Don Cherry made this point on the opening of the February 5, 2011 edition of Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada:

Hockey Training Programs

Hockey Speed and Power by Kevin MeihmOne such product is Hockey Speed and Power (regularly $69.99, now on sale for $47) by former NHL player Kevin Meihm, which features programs tailored to various age groups (8-11 year olds, 12-14, and 15 to adult). It’s a comprehensive system developed over his 15 years of professional hockey experience, and his post-playing career as a strength and conditioning coach. The program itself is based on one he developed for the OHL’s Belleville Bulls, which has fostered future NHL players like Montreal Canadien P.K. Subban and Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators.

Top Secret Off-Ice Hockey Training by Brandon NauratoAnother interesting offering is Brandon Naurato’s Top Secret Off-Ice Hockey Training ($97), a complete system that covers both in- and off-season training, along with a nutrition guide specifically designed with the hockey player in mind. One innovative feature here is the series of videos that you can access on an iPhone or iPod Touch, which demonstrate the various exercises involved, so you can make sure you’re doing them properly, wherever you are.

Premier Hockey Training by Chris CollinsChris Collins’ Premier Hockey Training ($87) starts from a different premise, with the very first module being an assessment of your individual physical condition, so you can get started by addressing your specific weaknesses, rather than use a generic program. Besides providing information on conditioning, strength training and nutrition, this plan also addresses recovery time, which is an essential concern for hockey players who often have to play multiple games or practices over the course of a weekend, and want to play as strongly at the end as they do at the beginning.

Hockey Training For Goalies

Rapid Response Goalie Training by Maria MountainGoalies, too, have their own specific needs, so there’s another set of tools recommended for you keepers. Rapid Response Goalie Training, created by fitness professional and goaltending specialist Maria Mountain, consists or workout routines which typically last 20-40 minutes, are done 2-4 times per week, but will help develop the strength, flexibility, and explosiveness that are uniquely required of goaltenders. It includes a nutrition guide, over 2.5 hours of workout videos, and of course the Rapid Response Training Manual, which covers everything you need for a goaltender-specific training program to both improve performance and help avoid injury.

Start becoming a stronger, faster hockey player – today!

These days, hockey players can’t be content to simply show up in the fall and expect to work themselves into shape; if you want to stand out from the pack, you need to come into camp ready to compete. My favorite example there is Nashville Predators forward Joel Ward, who came to camp in September 2008 as a 27-year-old career minor leaguer with all of 11 games of NHL experience. He jumped the line to earn a regular job, however, becoming a fixture in the lineup over the next three seasons, and now faces free agency this summer after leading his team in scoring during the playoffs. The turning point was that training camp performance in 2008 when he won that NHL roster spot that didn’t seem like it was ever going to come.

It’s nice to want to develop your athletic abilities and skill set as a hockey player, but going about it on your own isn’t just going to deliver sub-par results, it can be dangerous as well. Make sure to check out Kevin Meihm’s Hockey Speed and Power, Brandon Naurato’s Top Secret Off-Ice Hockey Training, Chris Collins’ Premier Hockey Training and/or Maria Mountain’s Rapid Response Goalie Training, to give yourself the best chance to have a productive off-season. The great thing about all of these resources is that they are available for immediate download, so you don’t need to pay for shipping or wait for a package to arrive in your mailbox. Choose the program you like, make your purchase, and get started on becoming a better ice hockey player right now.

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Bauer launches the Vapor APX, their most advanced hockey skate yet

Today’s launch of the Vapor APX hockey skate by Bauer adds a new, premium offering to their catalog, an option for the player who wants to get the very best out of their equipment. [Read more...]