Lets talk goalie equipment for a second… With so many companies and options to choose from it can literally make your head spin! I sometimes get the question, who is the best? Well, figuring out who produces the best goalie gear is like asking the question what fruit tastes better, apples or oranges. Finding the right goalie gear for myself comes down to fit, and that comes with years of experience playing the game. I’m guessing goalies will never come to an agreement on which company is the best, but at least we can figure out who is producing the most popular equipment in the NHL. After all these are the professionals and following in there footsteps is not a bad idea.
Source: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images North America
Goalie masks protect one of the most important parts of our body, our head! Goalie masks have come a long ways since first worn by Jacques Plante in 1959. Today, Bauer is the leading company protecting over half of the NHL goalies, 51 to be exact. Bauer’s most popular model is the Bauer Pro 961 goalie mask and is worn by such goalies as Henrik Lundqvist, and Miikka Kiprusoff.
Reebok is clearly the most popular when talking about the goalie catcher. In the NHL, 32 goalies are using Reebok catchers. Out of those 32 goalies, 26 of them are using the Reebok P4 Pro catcher. Vaughn is nipping at Reebok’s heels with an impressive 27 goalies, and Bauer has 16 goaltenders wearing their catchers. Bauer’s most popular catcher models are the Bauer One 100 and the most current version the TOTALONE.
Goalie blockers not only protect the back of your stick hand but also offer an excellent blocking surface for saving and deflecting the puck. Reebok is clearly supplying the majority of the blockers in the NHL at 32 goalies. Reebok’s most popular model is the Reebok P4 Pro, worn by an incredible 25 goalies. Vaughn’s protective blockers are used by more then 25 percent of the goalies in the NHL, goalies like Marty Turco, and Jonathan Quick use Vaughn just to name a few. Bauer supplies 16 NHL goalies with their blockers, the most popular models being the Bauer One 100 and the Bauer TOTALONE.
When comparing goalie sticks, Reebok is once again the most popular with 31 goalies using their sticks, 25 of them use the Reebok 11K Pro goalie stick. Goalies like Roberto Luongo, Ryan Miller, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Jonathan Bernier, and Marc-Andre Fluery all sport the 11K Pro. Bauer has a strong presence as well with 24 goalies using their goal sticks. The Bauer Supreme 7500 is Bauer’s most popular and preferred stick with the pros. Warrior is quickly becoming a strong contender in the NHL goalie stick market with 18 goalies, all using the very popular Warrior Swagger.
Last but not least is the largest portion of the goalies protective gear, the leg pads. Reebok, Vaughn, and Bauer’s leg pads protect over 75 percent of the goalies in the NHL. Reebok once again is the most popular, protecting the most goalies at 29. Out of 29 NHL goalies, 25 of them choose to wear Reebok’s P4 Pro series leg pads. Vaughn, being a goalie only company also has a very strong presence in the NHL, outfitting 27 different goalies. Recent 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Jonathan Quick wears Vaughn’s Velocity series pads like the VPG 7800 leg pad.
Well, we might not be any closer to figuring out who makes the best pads but at least we have some direction as to what the pros are using. Additional product information can be seen here at Inline and Ice Warehouse.