On Thursday, Bauer unveiled its new line of “OD1N” gear, which is currently being used by several players in the NHL.
The line features an upper body “protective suit,” goalie pads and player skates.
“We played a game of ‘what if’ with our developers,” said Bauer general manager of player equipment Craig Desjardins. “What if we remove price restriction? What if we work with materials never used before?
“We’re integrating revolutionized technology with the world’s best athletes.”
Throughout the process, Bauer worked with Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, Washington Capitals forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux and New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. All have already begun using the new equipment in games.
In a press release, it specified that the equipment was designed “exclusively” for those six players, and it may never become fully commercialized, Desjardins said.
Part of the reason for this is the complexity of the production. Before make the equipment, each players was scanned with a 3-D scanner so that they equipment could be specially designed to be an exact fit. With the protective suit, it cuts down on the amount of extra padding a player hauls around on the ice.
“It’s lighter,” Toews said. “The last thing you want to do is worry about your equipment and you aren’t really doing that because it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything.”
The decreasing of the amount of pads the players wear, while not sacrificing anything in terms of safety, allows for “unprecedented” weight saving.
“It’ll go a long way, especially going into the third period and overtime to help you stay fresh,” Kane said.
Right now, Lundqvist is the only goalie in the league using the OD1N pads. They are about 33 percent lighter than regular goalie pads because of their use of high- and low-density foam instead of synthetic leather.
With this weight saving, Desjardins said Lundqvist lifts about 180 less pounds per game when he’s going into the butterfly.
“When I play, it’s about being quick,” Lundqvist said. “They feel faster; you’re saving energy which is huge.”
In introducing the skate, Desjardins said Bauer’s developers removed about a half pound for each skate. He equated that to getting from blue line to blue line “two inches faster” than someone using different skates, and beating them in a goal line to goal line race by a foot.
“In a game of unbelievable strength and power, players have always sought any edge they could get,” said Bauer CEO Kevin Davis.
Both Desjardin and Davis referred to the equipment as a “concept car,” setting it out for a trial run before making a decision on its future as a product.
For them, it was important to get this product out on the ice in game scenarios to help with that evaluation.
“If we’re going to revolutionize hockey gear, we have to do it on the ice,” Davis said.