Posts Tagged ‘ice hockey’


ImageThe CCM 4 Roll Pro gloves were a hit when CCM brought it to the market two years ago. IT brought the 4-roll glove in nylon since the CCM 925 glove that was phased out by the Vector and then the U+ range. The 4-Roll Pro II has undergone a serious re-design and the gloves now look more like the Bauer 4-Roll pro (now Nexus range). So what else has changed in the glove apart from the look?

 

The gloves have a similar feel to some of CCM’s other gloves that use the build from inside out methodology and actually feel really comfortable on the hand. CCM has mastered the art of making some of the most comfortable gloves on the market and the 4-Roll Pro II is following in the same path.

 

The biggest difference to the previous 4-Roll Pro glove is the cuff. CCM has made the cuff on the 4-Roll Pro II smaller and has left some of the elements out that were in the first line of products. The smaller cuff really improves the way you can stick handle. In the previous glove the CCM logo was stitched onto the cuff, but this time the company has used sturdy lettering to display its wares.

 

Breaking in:

Thanks to the glove being nylon covered, it is lightweight and that gloves are pretty much ready to use and game ready the minute you pick them up from a store. However as with any new kit, we recommend that you wear it for a couple of training sessions before you use it in a game, but the CCM 4-Roll Gloves are quick to break in and offer you a good level of comfort and responsiveness quickly.

 

Ventilation:

Image

Inside ventilation on the CCM gloves

Compared to the previous model of the 4-Roll Pro gloves, the ventilation is much improved. To be fair, the glove’s ventilation is very similar to that on the Bauer Nexus gloves. However, when trying out the two different gloves, to our hands the CCM 4-Roll Pro glove liner felt more comfortable than that of the Bauer one.

During game play, it is only natural that the gloves get wet. The CCM inner liner actually stays relatively dry, while the palm itself gets quite wet, and if you don’t have dryers to your disposal at the game, the glove can be quite uncomfortable toward a particularly heavy training session or game.

 

Protection:

CCM has used PE inserts in the glove and on all the rolls of the glove to give good protection from slashes and pucks. In the previous model the rolls and fingers actually had a very thin metal plate within it, which added a bit to the weight of the glove.

The thumb of the glove uses a three piece design like the previous version of the glove. We actually preferred the thumb design of the first gen of the 4-Roll Pro gloves. On the current one, the thumb area feels a bit un-protected at the tip.

 

Overall though, the levels of protection offered by the glove is really good and it doesn’t sacrifice any bit of the usability of the glove.

 

Quality and value for money:

Image

The grey patches are where holes were patched up, due to the poor quality of the palm

This is where the CCM 4-Roll Pro II disappoints big time. The palms of the glove wear out really fast and it is only after a couple of uses that you’ll  see the top hand’s palm starting to wear out. What was weird was that the pair we had also wore out from the finger really quickly (also on our top hand) which is something that hasn’t happened before.

 

Additionally, the bottom hand’s palm wore out quickly and actually left a sizeable hole in it. This is something that hasn’t happened with any other gloves we have used in during the career. With CCM gloves it is usually the top palm that wears out, but this is the first time that the lower hand’s palm wore out. Compared to the Sher-Wood T70 glove where after a season’s use the palms are still intact and the gloves are in top shape, the CCM really disappointed us with the wear and tear element.

 

The biggest disappointment in the build quality came when the seam between the palm and the actual glove broke down, leaving a big gap on the side of the glove and exposed the hand, which leaves serious questions, whether people should invest a relatively large chunk of money on these gloves as they seem to be made from paper.

 

In the end we ended up taking the gloves to repairs and ended up paying almost the same price for the repairs as the gloves themselves!

 

Conclusion:

Image

Further repair work, where the sutures on the palm came off from the main glove. Further disappointment for the overall build quality

It is a real shame that the quality of the gloves leaves A LOT to desire for. The gloves are genuinely comfortable to wear and ease stick handling. There’s a lot to like in these gloves, in terms of the features, but judging by the pair we’ve been trying out, we’re questioning whether you should actually buy them because of the quality problems.

If you are set on buying these gloves, be prepared to budget in repairs for them as well, or alternatively be prepared to buy another set of gloves mid season or at the end of the season. It is a real shame as we really liked the previous 4-Rolls from CCM and they’ve lasted a lot better than the new range of 4-Roll gloves.

However, we do hope that CCM keep the 4-Roll Pro in its line up, but that the company makes some serious efforts in improving the overall quality of the palm materials.

 

 

Pros:

  • Good fit
  • Easy to break in
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Eases stick handling
  • Light weight

Cons

  • The palm is not durable at all
  • Poor build quality
  • Poor price vs quality ratio

At the Stockholm group of the World Championships, there has been a minor upset brewing in the form of the Swiss hockey team. The Stockholm group of the World Championships was touted to be the tougher of the two groups as it featured talent packed teams, such as Sweden, Canada and Czech Republic. No one could have guessed that the Swiss that are stealing the limelight.

In the opening game of the tournament, the Swiss handed a 3-2 loss to the hosts Sweden and then carried on the run of upsets by beating Canada in the penalty shoot out and then convincingly seeing off the Czech team by 5-2.

The team is comprised of players who play in the Swiss National League. The only NHL name that might be familiar to people is Nashville Predators’ defence man Roman Josi or New York Islander’s prospect Nino Niedereitter. The other recognisable name in the Swiss roster to most hockey fans is goalie Martin Gerber, who won the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006.

The Swiss have so far faced and won the toughest countries in its group  - and barring a complete disaster – should be progressing into the second stage of the competition as a team that should not be taken lightly. In the past few years it has been the Swiss who have taken the biggest strides in terms of developing their standard of players and their results at the World Championships stage and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Swiss were in medal contention this year.

The team is getting steady scoring from all lines and in goal, Gerber has been strong, posting a 1.92 GAA and 92.31 Save percentage in three starts. Perhaps if the Swiss keep going the way they have been, we might see them in the medal games this year. Though it would take a lot to see them in the final, the Swiss could be on the way to building its own Cinderella story for this year’s World Championships.

 

To get the best deals on hockey equipment, please visit Nekoti Hockey by clicking the image above. When registering your account use virtanen as your agent password to get 20% off on all purchases

To get the best deals on hockey equipment, please visit Nekoti Hockey by clicking the image above. When registering your account use virtanen as your agent password to get 20% off on all purchases


With three games played in the World Championships, Finland has shown some promise in the early going. However, where the team has won all of its games (surrendered one point to Germany in opening game), there are areas within the team that do need a bit of work before heading to big games against USA and Russia.

 

Here are a couple of great surprises to myself that I did not expect when the roster was first announced:

1)      Antti Raanta: Not really a surprise to many, but given that I only saw Youtube highlights and a the stories of his and his team’s Cinderella run to the Finnish championship. Raanta has only appeared in one game so far, but will likely carry the goaltending duties against USA and Russia which will be his biggest test to date. The shutout against Slovakia was a showing of his talents, specially during the phases of the game when Finland were helplessly lost. According to Raanta’s agent, there are as many as five NHL teams after his signature and KHL is not an option.

2)      Sami Lepisto: For the past couple of years Lepisto has been an enigma, not only to myself, but to many Finns. During the EHT in Czech Republic, Lepisto was hopelessly lost in the defensive zone. When his name was announced on the final roster and you saw him in the top D pairing, many jaws fell to the floor. The positive thing is that Sami Lepisto has responded to his critics the best way possible and has raised his game and has started playing up to his potential.

3)      The first line: Aaltonen – Kontiola – Pesonen has been what the coach wanted out of the trio. Couple of the guys (Aaltonen and Pesonen) have been part of Jalonen’s teams since taking over as a coach. Kontiola has featured in the teams as well, but has been left to a limited role. This year, he has been thrust into the fore and has responded beautifully. In the three games that he has played he has notched up 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points, which at the time of writing entitles him to the top scorer slot in the World Championships, ahead of Ilya Kovalchuck.

Things to improve upon

1)      Powerplay: Against Germany it was terrible (2 out of 9) and against Slovakia it was slightly better, but not great and against France, well it’s not really there. Special teams can be the difference maker in a tournament like this. The Finns seem a bit too content to chip the puck behind the net and chip it to the slot to a guy who is surrounded by two or three opposing players. It’s not really working so far.

2)      Play-book: Finland has often looked like they come out slow from the gates. It’s like watching a Diesel engine get going. Takes a while but when it gets going, it gets going. Slow starts like this are not going to be good against Russia and USA. Finland plays a puck possession game and likes to control the tempo of the game and for some reason I see this as a weakness, specially as the teams they will be facing will be stacked with individual talent, which can lead to trouble. However, hockey is a team game and is not decided on Individual talent.

3)      Scoring: Most of the scoring relies on the top line at the moment. Where the Finns have received some scoring assistance from the other lines, majority of the scoring responsibility has lied on the shoulders of the first line. Finland needs secondary scoring in-order to compete for a medal.

 

So there, a few thoughts on the Finns and how they are doing so far. There are big areas for the Finns to improve on, but given what the team has, many have been impressed by the team’s determination and guts. Are the Finns on pace for a medal? Time will tell. It would be easy to jump on the bandwagon and book the market square in Helsinki for the celebration, but it’s a long tournament and where the toughest games are still yet to come. 


The 2012-2013 season has now wrapped up. It has been a season like no other where as a player I put in more mileage to games than during any other season before. As a team we visited all of the rinks in the league and then had our ‘home’ at either Swindon, Basingstoke, Solihull or Oxford. What a weird ride.

 

Image

All gear and sweats washed for the summer

As a team we achieved some great things against the adversity we faced, going 11-straight without a loss is a great streak that is rarely seen in any level of sport. Unfortunately it was not quite enough as Oxford City Stars claimed the league title. My personal feeling has a hint of disappointment in it as the league only has one trophy and when that trophy isn’t in yours or your teammates’ hands, well, it’s a bit disappointing. But our fourth place finish is certainly a great achievement given what we have had to go through.

 

On a personal level, I’m extremely mixed up whether or not to be happy or not. As a player, in terms of my position, I feel that I have taken great strides and – despite some mistakes along the way – I can now play in my position better than ever before. However, I wanted to beat my points tally from last season, but I fell painfully, PAINFULLY, short. I don’t know what it is as I know I am capable of more, but for some reason I didn’t get the bounces and didn’t get going. Why this frustrates me is because, well, as I said, I can play better than that and I know I can contribute offensively.

 

So what’s in store for me now?  I eluded to doing something a bit different this off season. While I am taking a week off to recover (I got a bad case of man-flu from the last game), I am going to be starting to work out with the help of Brandan Schieppati from Raise Above Fitness. Some of you might know Brandan from his career in music with bands like 18 Visions and more notably Bleeding Through, but he’s also a personal trainer who cut his teeth drilling hockey players.

 

My previous off-season workouts were adequate, but I wanted something to push me a bit further and harder, both in terms of in the gym. One of the biggest aides that Brandan has already done is a tailored diet plan, which is something I’ve struggled with in the past.

 

I will be blogging about the progress of the project and keep you all up to date with the crazy workouts that I’ll be doing, I can tell you that the programmes are more intense than anything I’ve done before, which is something I feel will help me find that extra level in my game.

 

You can check out Brandan’s website for training tips and contact info at: http://www.brandanschieppati.com/

 

Image

If you need ice hockey equipment, click on the image above to visit Nekoti. To receive up-to 20% discount on all purchases, please register your account on the site and use virtanen (all lowercase) as your agent password to get great deals on hockey equipment.


Grind of the years and the mileage throughout it. Maybe not the best body mechanics , but it has never slowed them down. Maybe not the best skilled players, but still there every training, every game, despite the aching joints and busted knees  and so forth. The body might be older than the person, but the mind is forever young.

 

The mind is the only thing that sometimes keeps these guys going. The feeling of being in the changing room and around ‘the guys’ is something they wouldn’t trade for anything. The war horse has been through it all. Bitter losses, big wins. The works. However, he still arrives at the rink with the same enthusiasm as in the junior years.

 

Sure the off season might be longer and training has to be smarter, the recovery process from games is not what it used to be, but being able to play the game is more than enough. There’s no better feeling than lacing up the skates and hitting the ice.

 

The late nights, the road trips, the stops at highway rest stops, trying to find something that’s plausible as food. There’s quite simply nothing that the war horses would trade all of these for. The body might not be the same as it once was, but the brain, the brain is still there and the smarts for the game will never leave.

 

The war horse might not beat a younger player for speed, but they will know how to make the play. The hands may not be as fast as they once were and he younger, YouTube generation, will be forever more creative.

 

But the war horse is not just someone who has the wounds to prove his career, he is there to guide the younger generation, he is there to show leadership and use his experience for the better of the team.

 

The war horse in this is not me. At least not yet. I can only hope that I will be a war horse one day. To me being recognised as a hardworking player who does not give up is one of the better accolades a player may get. Sure there are no trophies on the mantle, but the knowledge and acknowledgement that you left everything on the ice, every night is worth more than that. 

 

Image

To access the best deals on hockey sticks, protective and skates, please click on the image above


The groups for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics ice hockey tournament have been set after the final qualification rounds came to a close. Where the pre-qualification tournaments may not make big headlines in the main hockey media, there was one storyline that I followed quite closely (well through social media and radio). The story being the one of Team GB.

British ice hockey may not be that highly regarded in the grand scheme of things, or the international hockey pecking order, but what surprised me was that Team GB made it to the final Olympic qualification tournament. Currently GB is ranked 21st by the IIHF and went on to play against teams like Latvia, France and Kazakhstan, all of which have experience from the highest tiers of international hockey within the IIHF. In fact, all of the nations in Team GB’s group featured in last year’s World Championships in Helsinki and Stockholm.

I think this is a good juncture to make a confession: I didn’t think that Team GB would make it. However, the achievement of the team should not be disregarded or mocked. Given the infrastructure for the game in the UK, where rinks seem to be closing quicker than they are built (specially in the South), or are in dire need of renovation, Team GB pulled of a minor miracle by making it to the final qualification round.

What the team who went to Latvia have achieved, is a foundation that the powers that be should start building upon. Team GB may not feature in the highest tier of the World Championship stage, nor will we see them in the 2014 winter Olympics. However, what the success of the team shows is that the fan base is there and now it is time to build. What the UK should focus on in an ideal world right now is to invest more into the sport and adapt a junior system that is being used by some of the top countries in the world. I’m a big believer that the future of the game of hockey is in junior development and now if ever, it’s time to strike while the iron is hot.

The process won’t be easy, but done right, I can see that Team GB has a legitimate chance for the 2018 Winter Olympics. However, having been around the game here for a couple of years, I sadly doubt that it will happen due to the way things are ran and the fact that hockey is a sport that hardly receives any funding. Sure there  recently was a funding of £100k, but more is needed. £100,000 will not build a programme that would nurture the game here.

I know this opens up a debate that hockey is a minority sport and that the £100,000 is a good enough investment and why should ice hockey be invested in. Well, even though a minority sport, it was good to hear the game being called on the radio and actually hear fans chanting “Let’s go GB”. The fan support is there and my Twitter stream was filled with tweets from the games. Team GB’s games were picked up by ESPN here in the UK, a great feat for the sport. I’ve thought this for the longest time, but the local leagues (Elite League and Premier League) should be shown on free-view TV. Having them shown and (what I find) often buried on Sky sports 2 is doing the sport no favours here. But as with many other things, money talks. I would be as bold as to hazard a guess that apart from the people who follow ice hockey actually know that the sport is shown on Sky Sports 2, or that the NHL is on Premier Sport.

 

EDIT: This was something that Graham Goodman said on Facebook and I totally agree with him. British players should cast their eyes to European leagues as well and seek contracts outside of the confines of GB. There were a couple of players who did not ply their trade in the British leagues and ultimately the international experience from different leagues (and potentially better leagues) will make the standard of the national team better. Many of the teams GB played against had A LOT of players on the roster that played in countries other than their own.

While Team GB may have lost all of its games in the tournament, it is nothing to be laughed at. Though any self-respecting hockey player will tell you that the losses sting and they suck, but in the grand scheme of things, this team that went so far, have the potential to be regarded as pioneers for the game here. They have laid a foundation on which to build the sport on and the powers that be now need to strike while the iron is hot or the achievement by these guys will have been for nothing.

Follow the author on twitter: @amateur_hockey

Image

For your hockey equipment needs, don’t settle for second best. Click on the image above for great products at great prices


Device: Nike+ FuelBand

Price: £129

Retailer: Apple stores and amazon.co.uk

 

ImageThis high-end fitness gadget has been a topic of many-a-debate. Is it actually a useful training aid, or just an expensive time vampire? That’s the question we have been trying to find an answer for.

The Nike+ FuelBand has a feel of a really high end gadget from the way that it is packaged and how the actual product is designed. It oozes panache and is likely to appeal to the techy crowd rather than the hard-core body builder (more about that later).

What’s in the box:

In the box, you’ll get your Nike+ FuelBand, a USB connector cable, an extension piece to Imageensure best fit and a tool to insert/take out the existing  piece. What is also supposed to come in the box is a USB dock, which would make the FuelBand stand up nicely when it’s hooked up to your laptop, but alas, there was not one included in our box.

You get an instruction booklet to get you started, though it isn’t really rocket science to get the bracelet up and running.

 

Getting started:

First off, you need to download the app to your Mac or PC from Nike (address is in the booklet), connect your FuelBand via the USB cable after you’ve installed everything and customise the device for yourself and create your Nike+ account. This shouldn’t take you forever to do.

You then need to let the FuelBand fully charge, which takes up-to an hour via the USB lead. There is also an app available for your smartphone if you want to track your progress on the phone as well, but it isn’t a necessity to get going.

I actually found that the phone app took longer to set up than the one on the computer and at times felt a bit frustrating.

 

After all this you are ready to go and start hitting your goals, which you can set for yourself, or go with the pre-determined goals that suit your activities. Ther

So does it actually work?

Well, apart from looking shnazzy, the Nike FuelBand gives you an idea of the steps and calories burned. The reason I say “an idea”, is because I don’t think the readings are entirely accurate, but do give you a good idea. The device measures your body’s move through an intricate set of features built into the band.

 

However, what we discovered is that it is easy to “cheat” the FuelBand. We discovered that if you wave your arm around whilst standing stationary, the FuelBand actually measures the swings of your arm as your steps and “burned” calories. Though having said that, I don’t think anyone would just sit there and wave their arm to reach their daily goal that is in the thousands of Nike Fuel.

 

The other way where the Nike FuelBand has a shortfall is in the gym. It doesn’t measure all of the activities you do i.e. squats or leg press. Additionally, it is harder to accumulate the fuel points, when you are doing exercises that involve free weights. Additionally, the FuelBand has a hard time picking up movement from push ups or sit ups, mainly down to the fact that your arms (wrists) are mainly static.

 

When it comes to cardio vascular exercise, the Nike+ FuelBand comes to its own.

 

ImageWhat compliments your daily fitness goals are pretty cool videos when you hit achievements, which make the FuelBand a fun experience to use. 

 

On the ice

ImageHaving used the FuelBand in trainings and games, it does pick up the moves and does give you a good idea of how many calories you burn during a game. As with running or plyometric exercises, the FuelBand picks up the motions and tracks your progress.

 

It is relatively un-intrusive in the glove and doesn’t interfere with stick handling or add anything that would hinder your performance. However, be sure that you don’t spend your shift staring at your wrist tracking how far you are off your goal.

 

The FuelBand has added an extra edge in terms of performance. As the FuelBand gives you more fuel points the faster you move, so both on and off the ice, it has improved the way in which I push myself, be it on the ice or when my feet are pounding the road.

 

What the FuelBand has helped out with, is definitely in the motivation. The daily goals do become a bit of an obsession and make you do more, which is great. Though there are some shortcomings, the FuelBand does add a new level to your fitness regimen and makes challenging yourself more fun and a bit of a game at the same time.

  

Conclusion:

The Nike+ FuelBand is a decent fitness aid, however it does have some shortcomings. It is in its element when you are doing cardiovascular exercise, like running, cross trainers or hockey, but if your main form of exercise is body building or weight training, it might seem like a waste of money.

Once you get accustomed to wearing it, you are more obsessed about hitting your goals, which means that you are looking at doing more exercise to reach your targets, which I’ve noticed as being a great help.

The graphics and charts that the FuelBand provides either on the phone or the computer, do give you a good idea of when you are most active and helps you to identify times of the day when you could be doing a little bit more.

If you are a goal oriented person and wants an additional challenge to your fitness regimen, I’d recommend the Nike+ FuelBand. However, if your fitness routines revolve around free weights, I’d say that your money would be spent better elsewhere.

 

 

Pros

  • Well designed and fashionable gadget
  • Good set of features
  • Complimented well with online and mobile features
  • Great motivator tool
  • Water resistant
  • Great for cardio vascular exercise
  • Great for goal oriented people
  • Helps identify times of day when you can do more
  • Pushes you to do more

 

Cons

  • Device can be cheated
  • Does not work too well on weight and power training exercises
  • Doesn’t pick up moves from push-ups
  • Box came with no stand for dock.
  • Calorie and step counts might not be that accurate

ImageFor great hockey equipment at great prices, please click on the image above

 


In true spirit of Twitter, and social media promotion, the NHL has taken to promoting the new,  shortened season, with the hashtag and theme of #Hockeyisback, or Hockey is back. It’s latest promotional video has spread through the hockey community like wildfire. Where yes, it is slick and evokes a lot of emotions, I still have a problem (like many others) with the whole hockey is back theme.

 

You see, hockey never left and the whole hashtag is a bit insulting to other leagues in North America. In north America you had the AHL, ECHL, CHL SPHL and other minor pro leagues that played since September/October time frame, but with what NHL is saying is that those leagues are, well, a bit insignificant and don’t classify as hockey. This is not to mention the whole of Europe, where leagues started in September. You had Finnish, Swedish, German, Swiss, Russian and Czech professional leagues starting their seasons, so in many ways, the only thing that is back is the NHL.

 

Where yes, I do agree that the NHL is the best hockey league there is, but to assume that it is the be all and end all of hockey is a little bit misguided. The thing is, if the NHL had fallen because of the work dispute, the game of hockey would not have died or gone away. Yes, it is great to have the NHL back, but the whole “Hockey is back” slogan is a little bit arrogant from a league that lost 113 days to one of the most pointless work stoppages in the history of professional sports.

 

The NHL is in a position where many economists have scrutinised its brand value and given estimates of half a billion dollars lost in brand value, which has left the NHL’s marketing  department to do its best to bring fans back. Where many teams are doing various promos to entice fans to come back to watch hockey, for the league to say that hockey is back is bullish and to a lot of disgruntled fans it is yet another slap in the face.

 

Where yes, I am excited about the NHL being back, I’m not supportive of the statement that hockey is back. Despite my excitement, I think it would be divine justice if the NHL season would open up to empty arenas across the league, but I doubt that it will happen. Despite how disgruntled the fans were during the lockout, many of them will be back. 


It happened with the last shortened NHL season and it looks like it is happening again. There is going to be a player shortage in the market after all the NHL players have returned to their NHL teams. There are already reports circulating that AHL teams are scrambling to fill their rosters after their NHL players have left. The same can be expected once the last NHLers leave the KHL that the Russian behemoth league will start signing up top talents from other European leagues, further speeding up the snowball effect.

 

 

The challenge for European teams is that the IIHF transfer window closes on the 31st of January, so there is a lot of work to do to find a suitable replacement to bring in to plug holes left by locked out NHL players. As a UK based player agent from 9Hockey Management, Gareth Chalmers said on Twitter “I think a lot of European teams may struggle to replace departing NHLers, not in terms of quality but with an actual body.” Chlamers also added that he knows of teams that have been looking for import players for up to three months.

 

In Finland, there has been talk that the KHL would be extending offers to some of the top Finnish players and that teams are looking to accept these offers due to the vast financial gains to be made in terms of compensation. The first move was seen today, when Espoo Blues, gave a green light to Teemu Ramsted’s move to SKA St.Petersburgh. Ramsted was one of Blues’ key players after scoring 5+29 points in 39 games. The centre was also part of Finland’s Euro Hockey Tour roster where he played under the SKA head coach, Jukka Jalonen.

 

With the lockout really messing up the markets there are undoubtedly more hockey jobs available now, but there might not be high calibre players on the market that would be able to fill the roles that are being offered. For example an Italian Serie A2 team (second league in Italy) was looking for players with significant SM-liiga, NHL or KHL experience. The demand surely is high, but I can’t see anyone in a current higher league team make the change to Italian second tier hockey.

 

With AHL teams looking to bolster their teams, they will likely call up players from the ECHL, who in turn will be looking at the lower rings of professional hockey to fill in gaps made by the AHL. In the KHL, the net is cast into Europe, with Finland being a good candidate for player recruitment. The Finnish SM-Liiga teams ideally would like to have import players, but at the same time, they are looking for quality impact players, which can be hard to find. The other option for teams in Europe is to replace departed players with their top junior talents and try and hurry along their player development, a move which can be risky but can also yield high returns.

 

So not only is the NHL gearing up for a start, but that doesn’t mean that the European teams are any less busy. The European hockey market could see some puzzling moves (as seen by Rauman Lukko in signing Josef Straka) or some great last minute finds. As said, the transfer deadline for European teams is on the 31st of January when all ITC registrations closes, so busy days ahead for team GMs as well as player agents.

 

Image

 

For great deals on top hockey equipment, click on the image above


Specifications:

Model: Sher-Wood T-70

Size: 13”

Colour: Black

Prce: £93.60

Where to buy: http://nekoti.co.uk

 

Image

The Sher-Wood T-70 glove has the traditional 4-roll look

The Sher-Wood T-70 glove is in the upper range of its T-range, or True Touch range, superseded only by the T-90. The T-70 we were given to try out by Nekoti Hockey (http://nekoti.co.uk),  looks like a traditional 4-roll glove, but there is something different about it compared to the other 4-roll gloves.

 

The 4-roll look has been making a serious comeback in the recent years and many manufacturers are now supplying the look, but from experience with some of the 4-roll gloves, they can be a bit loose on the hand, but the Sher-Wood T-70 feels ready for action straight out of the box and  doesn’t shake around too much compared to other 4-roll gloves in same size. 

 

Build:

When looking at the build of the glove, the one thing that is a bit of a pro and a con at the same time, is the outer liner. Where other gloves that use the 4-roll look use a nylon/ fabric outer liner, the T-70 uses synthetic leather outer liner, which in my experience has taken a while longer to break in. However, the T-70 gloves did not require an extended breaking in period and were comfortable enough to use in a game situation after three training sessions. The outer liner makes the gloves highly abrasion resistant, durable and light weight. They are on par with most top of the line 4-roll style gloves in terms of weight, with maybe few grams’ difference here or there.

 

Image

Vents on the inside of the glove.

The backhand contains high density foam and plastic inserts. On the rolls there are breathing vents to allow for better air circulation. However, inside the glove there is a felt/corn liner on the backhand, which can make the glove feel a bit hot and plays down the effectiveness of  the ventilation from the 4-roll. In the end we ended up removing the felt liner from inside the glove and the gloves have felt better since then, both in terms of breathe-ability and performance. The inner lining was not attached to the glove so it had a habit of moving around a bit and felt a bit uncomfortable. Few other guys who have been trying out the same model glove felt that they preferred the glove as it came out from the box, so it is mainly a preference thing.

 

Inside the glove, Sher-Wood have used materials which have been designed to keep the gloves as dry as possible. I have noticed that the gloves do tend to get a bit wet after a particularly heavy training or game, but one of the great things about the glove is that once it is dry it does not stiffen up. This is thanks to the materials used in the palm of the glove, which as mentioned is one of the biggest USPs of this particular range of gloves. The palm liner is super durable.

 

The one thing that ALWAYS breaks in my gloves is the palm liner of the upper hand (being a lefty it’s the right glove that goes). The liner used in these gloves doesn’t have a cheap feel to it and it actually feels sturdy. The other thing with the palm liner is that it gives you an added level of grip on the stick, whether you are using a clear or grip coated stick. Though on a grip coated stick it did feel a bit too grippy to begin with. It is also comfortable to the hand.

Image

After similar use periods, other palms on gloves can break. Sher-Wood’s palm liner is really durable

Image

Side profile view of the T-70 Glove showing the Hyperlock thumb feature

One of the cool things about the T-70 gloves is the Hyperloc thumb feature. Players have the choice of having either a mobile thumb, or slightly stiffer thumb with protection. This is done by removing an insert stuck behind the thumb. Personally, I have stuck with the protection as I felt that the thumb was mobile enough with the added protection in place.

 

The gloves’ cuff extends to well above the wrist and fore arm and the gap between the elbow pad and glove is minimised, without sacrificing mobility. The cuff itself is sufficiently padded out so that you do not notice if there are small slashes on the wrist.

Conclusion:

The Sher-Wood T-70 glove is a durable, top of the range 4-roll styled glove that will match the performance and protection of similar glove models from the likes of Bauer, CCM or Easton. Where this model of T-70’s uses a synthetic leather outer layer, it doesn’t hinder the performance of the glove and they can be broken in as quick as other nylon/canvas covered gloves, however, the T-70 is likely to last you longer than a nylon/canvas lined glove. The biggest thing for me has been the palm of the gloves. It is incredibly durable and comfortable to wear.  Additionally it adds an element of grip to stick, so you can be safe in the knowledge that your stick won’t just slide off your hands.

 

Image

The glove’s cuff provides good level of protection

The Sher-Wood T-70 gloves are an ideal glove for an active player, offering pro level features and comfort. If the 4-Roll look and feel is what you’re after, we suggest you give the Sher-Wood T-70s a good hard look in your selection process.

 

 

 

Pros:

·         Quick to break in

·         Provides great levels of protection on the backhand

·         Customisable thumb protection

·         Palm liner is extremely durable

·         Don’t feel stiff after gloves dry

·         Cool 4-roll look

Cons:

·         Inside felt liner can make glove feel too hot/weakens ventilation

  • Can feel too grippy when first using with a grip coated stick.

You can buy these gloves and other hockey equipment from Nekoti Hockey, by clicking the image below

Image