It seems like, as we inch closer toward the start of the 2015-16 season, negative story after negative story continues to come out about the Chicago Blackhawks. In spite of winning the Stanley Cup, the Blackhawks’ offseason has been marred by negative press. The latest story was about former Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta allegedly rooting against the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup playoffs, though he has already denied this.
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Well in the midst of all negativity surrounding the Blackhawks, we have a positive story. Our beloved two time Stanley Cup champion goalie Corey Crawford got new gear.
Crawford will be going with all black pads made by CCM Hockey instead of his standard white pads made by Reebok. Crawford was seen wearing his new pads all over the Twitterverse on Tuesday. The pads were marketed by CCM Hockey as its new CCM Premier pads. This is not the first time that Crawford has been featured wearing pads as marketing before the season. Crawford was one of the featured goalies to test out the new reduced NHL goalie pads before the 2013-14 season.
This will not be the first time that Crawford has worn black pads, either. He wore black pads during the 2013-14 Stadium Series game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Crawford also had to wear his Stadium Series pads for a few extra games as his traditional white goalie pads were stolen from his equipment bag during the Stadium Series game. Those pads have yet to surface.
This marks the first time in his NHL career that Crawford will not be wearing Reebok pads. Reebok is currently the exclusive sponsor of NHL sweaters, however its exclusive contract ends after the 2015-16 season. Adidas will take over the rights to the NHL sweaters in 2016-17. Some people expect the jersey transition to be smooth because adidas owns Reebok; however, others have discussed radical changes. Some of the potential changes discussed are advertisements on sweaters. Hockey sweaters might start to resemble European Premier League soccer jerseys with advertisements all over them.
Does the fact that Reebok will no longer be the exclusive sponsor of the NHL have anything to do with Crawford changing his pads? I doubt it. My best guess would be that CCM gave him a deal to wear its pads.
Chicago Blackhawks training camp opens on Sept. 18 at the University of Notre Dame. The Training Camp Festival will take place on Sept. 21, and you can probably see Crawford in his new pads at that event.
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