Monday, September 10, 2012
Player Interview: Bobby Allen

Many hockey players and fans who live in New England remember the name Bobby Allen. A local kid (Hull, MA), Allen is among a long line of locals over the years who had the privledge of playing for Jerry York at Boston College, where he won a National Championship in 2001. For a lot of the Division I college players, that's the crown jewel in their hockey careers. Making it to the NHL is a hard road to hoe. Some do end up with solid careers in competitive and excellent leagues like the AHL, ECHL or over in Europe. A select few, like Bobby Allen, get drafted into the NHL. A subset of those drafted guys get to actually fulfill their dream and play NHL games. Bobby is one of them. While his career was cut short by injury, Bobby tasted the life of an NHL player with the Edmonton Oilers and played his last NHL games in the 2007-08 season as a member of the team he grew up rooting for, the Boston Bruins.

We caught up with Bobby recently and had this chat below. Bobby is now a regular in our stores because his little boy is just starting his career, so we talked about that, dealing with early retirement and the excitement around playing for the local, iconic organizations. Here we go....



During your career, you played for two iconic organizations in New England – Boston College and then in the NHL with the Bruins. Since you are born and raised in Massachusetts, obviously there's some fond memories there, but is it possible to even put into words how you felt before your first game with each of those teams? Must have been so wild!
We are fortunate to live in a place where great hockey is so prevalent. Like any other kid growing up, I idolized the Bruins, and in this town it seems like you grow up rooting for either BC or BU. I always cheered for maroon and gold. My first games for both teams were very special. It was always a dream to play college hockey - to represent such a historic program like BC was a privilege. My first game with the B's was just as special. You can't put into words putting on the Bruins jersey, it was really almost surreal. Being able to play for that organization was one of the greatest thrills of my life. 
 
2.  What do you remember most clearly about your very first NHL game as a member of the Edmonton Oilers?
My first game with the Oilers was a day I'll never forget. I remember the dressing room in Dallas, taking warm ups, the preparation and my first shift. I was probably gripping the stick a little tighter that day! Even though I didn't play that much, I'll always remember that day fondly, as it was the culmination of many years of hard work
 
3.  After you stopped playing, what kind of adjustment was it for you mentally and/or physically? You always hear about players who do – and don't -  adjust well to post-career life. How was it for you?
When I had to stop playing because of the lingering back issues that affected me my last year with the Bruins, it was devastating. I still miss playing. That was a very hard thing to wrap my head around. I had been a hockey player my entire life then all of a sudden it was over. So it definitely took me some time to adjust. I was fortunate that my parents always stressed the importance of an education, and that helped me in my transition to the business world. I have been trying to utilize some of the core values that I learned while playing in being successful in my new line of work. It's an ongoing process but I have welcomed this new chapter in my life. 
 
4. As a gear shop, we have to ask a gear question or two – how picky were you about your gear? Was there one thing specifically that you were really into?
For my hockey gear, I wasn't really too picky. I did love trying new things. When a rep came by, you can guarantee that I was over there trying something on or using a sample. The one thing I was crazy about was my stick. My curve and more importantly, my lie, had to be perfect or I could notice it. So my sticks were the things I was always tinkering with. 
 
5. Do you still play today? If so, are you still using your old gear from your playing days or do you keep updated?
With my back being what it is, I don't get to play as often as I'd like. I get out there every now and then and have a blast when I do. I am involved in coaching both youth and high school hockey, so I am on the ice all the time, just not always in full gear. I have the same stuff that I had when I stopped playing, and I don't see any updates in the future. Though I may need a new pair of skates, don't tell my wife.... 
 
6. What was the last thing you laughed really hard at?
The last thing I laughed really hard at was anything that my two kids (Quinn and Caroline) do. They are all the comedy that I need in my life. 
 
7. What is your favorite hockey memory or most memorable goal?
My favorite hockey memory was a toss up between winning the National Championship at BC and my first home game with the Bruins against Buffalo. I'll never forget my family waiting for me in the tunnel after the game at the Garden and the looks on my parents faces. That was about the greatest thrill you could have! 
 
8. You mentioned that you have your own child skating now. Talk about how that feels for you!
My son Quinn (4) is starting to play this year. I am so excited that he enjoys it so much. Needless to say, hockey is and has been a huge part of my life, and I look forward to many years of sharing the joy and passion I have for the sport with him. Hopefully he's a better player than his dad! 

We're pretty sure Quinn is already off to a good start with those bloodlines! Many thanks to Bobby Allen for taking the time to chat with us! Stick around for more interviews, gear reviews and other fun stuff.

 

 


0 Comments Posted at 02:00AM on 09/10/2012

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Friday, September 14, 2012
Bauer TotalOne NXG Stick Preview

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing 

 

Always trying to stay ahead of the game, this fall Bauer is releasing their next stick in the Supreme line, the TotalOne NXG. With this much anticipated stick, Bauer is really pushing the envelope.
 
A couple of the biggest upgrades to the stick from the original TotalOne, is in the durability department. For this year, Bauer incorporated their eLASTech technology, already found in the APX and Nexus sticks. What this does is limits the spread of micro-fractures, from slashes and puck impact, keeping the stick stronger for longer and increasing the “Pop-life” of the stick. In the blade, they have brought in their dual density core. This brings together the Power Core 3 technology, that has unmatched feel on the puck, and Aero Foam II, which provides great torsional stiffness while remaining extremely light. This combination results in a lightweight blade, with great stiffness to prevent blade deflection and keep the face square on shots, while still having great feel. 
 
The shaft of the NXG is the Supreme Power Shaft, featuring square, double concave walls, with a taper that is thicker in the hosel area. In coordination with the amplified mid kick, this taper minimizes shaft deflection while loading up for powerful shots to optimize energy transfer and keeps the blade aligned for accuracy. The shafts Tac-Spiral ridges increase sensory connection to the stick. Combined with the Supreme’s squared corners and double concave walls, Tac-Spiral gives a great grip in even the most aggressive stickhandling or shooting situations. 
 
The NXG features an amplified mid kick, engineered to provide maximum energy loading and output with minimal effort. It is stiffer in the lower section of the shaft and softer in the middle to easily energy load. 
The TotalOne NXG also has many features that have been seen in other top end Bauer sticks, like Bauer’s TeXtreme technology, a carbon that is 20% lighter than conventional carbons without sacrificing strength. Their Monocomp technology leads the industry as a single molding process, increasing consistency. By removing overlapping composite, resin and foam, it balances the stick better and reduces overall weight. The NXG also has Bauer’s Pure Shot Blade Profile, this is an expanded throat, strengthening the connection between shaft and blade, to reduce twisting of the blade, therefore keeping the blade square for more accuracy. 
 
The TotalOne NXG is available at all Pure Hockey Locations and PureHockey.com
 
 
 



0 Comments Posted at 01:00PM on 09/14/2012

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Sunday, September 16, 2012
Reebok 20K Composite Stick Preview

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

The fall season is always a fun one, the season is starting up, and new equipment is being released left and right. One of the most anticipated sticks of 2012 is the new Reebok 20K

The first feature you’ll notice when first picking up the 20K is one of my favorites, the new Dual Grip. This gives a matte, smooth finish on the bottom half of the length of the shaft, and Reebok’s Griptonite coating on the top half. What this does, is allows you to have great freedom to slide your bottom hand without your gloves getting stuck on an overly tacky shaft, but still gives you great grip to keep the stick squared on shots creating a lot of torque. I really like this feature, as I feel that I often get caught between the grip models being too sticky, and the clear models being too slippery. This is a great medium. 
 
Reebok also utilizes their Pure Fiber technology in the 20K Stick for 2012. This process is Reebok’s way of constructing the stick to be a true one piece, as opposed to having a fusion point. This reduces the weight in the lower part of the shaft and hosel, by minimizing the amount of composite material needed.
 
The next two biggest technologies in the 20K are both involving the blade. Reebok’s upgrade to their blade wrapping technique, the Dual Matrix II. This involves angling the carbon fiber on the backhand side of the blade at 45? and at 90? on the forehand side. This causes tension between the sides on shots, creating a slingshot effect to generate what Reebok calls the “Hyper Release”. The other blade feature, and the one I’m excited about is the AccuBlade Technology. The heel of the blade has good stiffness, and the blade gets stiffer towards the toe, effectively eliminating blade torque on shots. Personally, I take most of my shots off the toe half of the blade, so a blade that doesn’t deflect back with shot pressure is huge. 
 
The 20K is available at all Pure Hockey Locations and PureHockey.com
 
 
 



0 Comments Posted at 06:00AM on 09/16/2012

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Friday, September 21, 2012
Game Time Review: Bauer Nexus 1000 Hockey Stick

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing



I have the opportunity to try out a ton of great equipment through my job. I have to say, it's a great perk for a gear head like myself! The trouble sometimes - and I can't believe I'm saying this - is that occasionally there is too much to try and not enough ice. Often I don't have enough time with a certain pair of skates, gloves or stick - you know how it is - a lot of the time you need several sessions before you can really pass judgement on something. The thing that should say a lot about the Bauer Nexus 1000 stick is that I made sure that didn't happen. Why? Because it was too good.

 
I got the Nexus 1000 stick pretty early - I have been lucky enough to have been using it now for around three months. To be honest with you, I have never been much of a Bauer stick fan, but I will tell you here and now that they have seriously won me over with this one. After three months skating at least a couple times per week in game situations, I have seen almost no signs of the stick breaking down. A little bit of normal wear on the toe and bottom of the blade, but that's about it.
 
The stick still has great pop to it and the blade is retaining its stiffness well - that's usually my number one reason to move on from a stick: blade slop. I like that term! Blade slop! I shoot mostly off the toe of my blade, so if my blade starts to soften, than my shots go everywhere - more everywhere than usual, anyway. So the moment I feel the blade softening, the stick is retired.
 
I haven't had that problem with the Nexus. I honestly feel it is performing as we'll now as the first shot I took with it. It doesn't have the unbelievable pop on a release like some sticks do (Easton's Mako or CCM's new RBZ come to mind), but it still has provided great all-around performance.
 
A lot of sticks today are designed to do one thing phenomenally, perhaps a quick release or best energy loading. I feel that the Nexus does everything exceptionally. Taking on the performance aspect and going head to head with other sticks, the Nexus may not be #1 in many or any categories, but it would be ranked very highly in the widest number of categories. For a player like myself who likes to be able to do a lot of things and take an array of shots, it's a huge advantage.
 
It's rare nowadays that I go out and buy a stick, because I have a lot of demos coming through of things I need to try, but I just ordered a second Nexus and it has been the only stick I have used in games for the past three months. I have found other ice slots to try other sticks out, but I keep coming back to the Nexus 1000. All around, I highly highly recommend the Bauer Nexus 1000, without question one of the best I have used in recent memory. You can see more pictures, video and order one right here.

 


0 Comments Posted at 04:00AM on 09/21/2012

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Glove Weigh In

 

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing
 
There are few pieces of gear more important than a players’ hockey gloves. Having a comfortable, lightweight, protective glove is vital to feeling confident going into a game. While this test can’t address a glove’s comfort or protection level, it will certainly help out with the weight discussion.
Our Glove Weigh-in…..
                                                                             Single Glove (Grams)             Pair (Grams)
Warrior Bully                                                                  269                                           538
Warrior Luxe                                                                  273                                           546
Easton RS                                                                     278                                           556
Easton EQ50                                                                281                                           562
Easton PH E-Pro                                                         285                                            570
CCM U+ CL                                                                  296                                            592
Bauer Vapor APX                                                         297                                            594
Bauer 4 Roll                                                                 305                                            610
Warrior Franchise                                                       307                                            614
Bauer TotalOne                                                           319                                            638
Bauer Vapor APX Pro                                                 326                                            652
Eagle PPF                                                                    337                                            674
 
 
The results: A bit surprising to me that the lightest Bauer glove was the 7th lightest in the group, but again you have to take the weight and the protection into consideration. In many cases, a glove with more padding and more protection is going to be slightly heavier. Not every player wants or needs that much protection so sometimes the sacrifice is worth it. 

Good Showing for Warrior, too, finishing with the top 2 lightest gloves, and also for Easton with the next 3 lightest.  All Gloves weighed were 14” inch retail models. 
 
Let us know what you think @PureHockey and on Facebook.

 



1 Comments Posted at 11:00AM on 09/25/2012

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