InGoal Magazine was privileged to be part of a special unveiling this week, with a “backstage pass” to Carey Price’s return to Montreal for photo and video shoots in the new CCM equipment he will wear for the Canadiens.
As if being in the Habs practice rink as Price strapped on and talked about his EXtreme Flex Pro gear for first time wasn’t enough, the day also included an on-ice session with Canadiens’ goaltending coach Pierre Groulx, who brought InGoal into the coaching offices beforehand to go over video of drills he worked on with Price back in Kelowna.
Even more exciting for our readers is news the highly regarded Groulx will be contributing instruction, drills and tips to future issues of InGoal Magazine, including many featuring Price demonstrating the proper techniques!
As for the equipment itself, there is only so much we can say for now, but rest assured InGoal will be the first to unveil new features, and the first with a full review of the line, which as you will see from photos below also includes a new chest-and-arm unit. The blocker is binding-less, but there are other alterations that Price walked us through, and the glove has a new break that closes differently from P4 models, but in a way that still makes “Turco grip” puck handling easy.
Even just by showing you the front of the pads, with classic knee rolls, plus the EXtreme Flex name, it’s not hard to guess CCM created a line designed for goalies that like more flexible breaks and more direct control and feel of the pad on their legs. But after getting to tour the Lefevre factory with legendary builder Michel and his son Patrick, and going over the design process, there is a lot more to the new CCM line – and a lot more options coming – than most outsiders have assumed.
Some of it will be obvious from the pros that choose to wear it, including long-time Reebok goalie Jonathan Bernier, who lives near the Lefevre factory but had yet to pick up his just-finished set when InGoal visited (note the Kings colors).
Speaking of the Lefevres, with all due respect to a fun day with the easy going Price, and the excitement of hearing his goalie coach with the Canadiens will be work with InGoal on instructional material, the highlight of this trip had to be the factory tour and a chance to walk down memory lane with Michel, who began making equipment 50 years ago at age 14, and his son Patrick, who now also plays a major role in shaping the business – and therefore the position itself.
Together they have helped revolutionize goaltending, and getting a chance to see pieces of that history – like the original mold for Patrick Roy’s mask on the left – and hear stories of the all-time greats coming to Michel’s original factory (the family basement) was both a special treat and a real honor for anyone who loves goaltending.
InGoal will begin sorting through the thousands of photos, and hours of footage, this weekend. So look for a feature on the Lefevre’s factory and history, including their answers to Ask a Pro questions from our readers, in the coming weeks.
Then stay tuned for more insights into the new CCM EXtreme Flex line (and a few other new surprises, one of which readers will probably be able to guess from the pictures), an in-depth feature with Price on his evolution as a goaltender and Montreal Canadiens icon, and instruction from Groulx.
In the meantime, enjoy a few more shots from two memorable days in Montreal: