Blackhawk Up has teamed up with Pro Stock Hockey for a post about the Chicago Blackhawks’ choices in hockey gear. Enjoy!
For the last two seasons, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has been the highest-paid player in hockey.
In addition to his $13.8 million salary in 2017-18, he pulled down another $2.2 million in endorsements.
His Blackhawks life partner, Patrick Kane, ranked third at $14.8 million, with $1 million of that in endorsements.
Along the way to three Stanley Cup championships between 2010 and 2015, Kane and Toews proved they could light up a cash register as well as a goal lamp, taking turns leading the league in jersey sales in 2014-15 and ’15-16, respectively, and ranking second and third behind Sidney Crosby in 2016-17.
This season, which saw the end of a string of nine straight Chicago trips to the postseason, dimmed their marketing glow — Kane’s jersey ranked No. 8 in leaguewide sales, and Toews’ ranked ninth — but those in the hockey know aren’t declaring the era dead just yet.
A healthy Corey Crawford back in goal, the continued maturation of Alex DeBrincat and Nick Schmaltz, a return of Toews to something close to past heights and the ‘Hawks are back in the playoff picture.
Fans who know that will also want to know what equipment the ‘Hawks are using for their climb back to the top.
Start with the stars
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When it comes to his equipment, Kane is a Bauer guy across the board. His stick is a Vapor 1X Lite, the second-most popular stick leaguewide. His gloves are the Nexus 1N, his skates the NHL-leading Vapor 1X 2.0, and the Re-Akt his helmet. Only the gloves, which don’t even crack the top 10 leaguewide, seem to be an out-of-the-box pick.
Toews also has strong ties with Bauer. His Nexus 2N, though, is hardly a populist’s choice. Just four players in the league carry it. His gloves, the Supreme 1S model, are a bit more popular, ranking fifth among 40 models to see ice time in 2017-18. He has Nexus 1N skates, worn by 10 percent of the league, and a Bauer 4500 helmet, the league’s third-most popular head gear.
What about the rest?
For whatever reason, the Blackhawks aren’t big Warrior guys. The Alpha QX, the league’s most popular stick, is carried by just three players: Brandon Saad, Jordan Oesterle and Blake Hillman.
Or maybe they aren’t big on popularity. The league’s most popular glove, Bauer’s Vapor 1X, has found its way onto the hands of just Jan Rutta and Anthony Duclair.
On the other hand, the ‘Hawks seem to have fallen hard for the league’s No. 1 skate, with five other players joining Kane in the Vapor 1X 2.0. Basically, the whole roster wears Bauer blades — five players in Toews’ preferred Nexus 1N model, two in the Supreme 1S and two more in the earlier iteration of Kane’s model, the Vapor 1X. Strangely, Vinnie Hinostroza is the only ‘Hawks player skating on the True Pro Custom, the NHL’s No. 2 skate.
When it comes to helmets, the ‘Hawks again show a strong bias toward Bauer. Two-thirds of the roster wore Bauer headgear in the 2017-18 season, most of those in either the Re-Akt or the Re-Akt 100. CCM’s Resistance model, only No. 5 in the league rankings, is the second-most popular helmet among the Hawks and is favored by veteran defensemen Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith.
The end is gear
If the Blackhawks are thinking about the future, gearheads might want to consider that the team’s Bauer era could be coming to an end. After all, equipment has a way of spreading through locker rooms inhabited by the stars who favor it.
DeBrincat, all of 20 years old, led the Blackhawks in his rookie season with 28 goals. Head to toe, he’s a CCM guy — Jetspeed stick, Ultra Tacks gloves, Resistance helmet and Super Tacks AS1 skates. Just something to consider.
Author bio: AJ Lee is Marketing Coordinator for Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for pro stock hockey gear. He was born and raised in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, and has been a huge Blackhawks fan his entire life. AJ picked up his first hockey stick at age 3, and hasn’t put it down yet.