CCM Extreme Flex 3 Glove: Bigger, Deeper, Double-T Pocket
When it comes to new goalie equipment launches, leg pads tend to grab the spotlight.
In the case of the lighter, thinner CCM Extreme Flex 3 with it’s all new Speed Skin material designed for faster sliding and easier movement, that is very understandable.
Just don’t ignore the new gloves.
Designed in consultation with Montreal Canadiens superstar Carey Price, the CCM Extreme Flex 3 glove now includes a double-T pocket that improves both puck retention and visibility while covering it, as well as a modified one-piece cuff that offers more coverage up high.
“I like the double-T pocket,” Price told InGoal Magazine during the regular season. “I like to see in, and see I have the puck and when I have it covered see it’s in there for sure.”
The theory behind the new double-T is simple: the pocket is bigger and deeper. Add in the use of skate laces, which reduces the spin that creates pop out and is now the stock option on the new CCM Extreme Flex 3 glove, and the result is noticeably improved puck retention.
Whether viewing it from the top of the glove (in the photo above) or the bottom (below), the pocket on InGoal Magazine’s new blue-and-green Extreme Flex 3 glove it noticeably deeper than our red-and-blue Extreme Flex 2 model, and early testers have noted the difference in puck retention and visibility.
CCM also worked with Price to reconfigure the one-piece cuff, shifting more of the coverage above the wrist while staying within the overall limits of NHL sizing. It’s not the easiest shape to measure precisely but by lining our sample Extreme Flex 3 glove up against the previous Extreme Flex 2 model, the new cuff sits roughly one inch higher above the wrist, providing additional coverage up high without sacrificing noticeable seal between the glove and pants, or top of the pad, when goalies are down in more of a blocking butterfly.
The modified cuff was a change Price inquired about the season before:
— CCM Goalie (@CCMGoalie) May 6, 2017
You can see the slight difference in the cuff in the side-by-side images of the red-and-blue Extreme Flex 2 glove side by side with our new blue-and-green Extreme Flex 3 glove in these two photos below:
The illustration on the right from CCM on also highlights the difference in the new one-piece cuff, but it’s far from the only highlight in the new Extreme Flex 3 glove compared to its predecessor. For the first time in the EFlex lineup, the glove will also include the use of D3O, a specially engineered impact-absorbing material, in the palm. D3O debuted on the CCM Premier glove last season and because this material is so good at soaking up the force of a puck – by absorbing it, not kicking it away like a harder material might – it now significantly increases the protection in each level of padding offered in the new CCM Extreme Flex 3 trapper as well.
Since adding this three-millimeter layer of D3O to the face of the palm in the top-level of the Premier line, CCM has seen a decrease in the use of “practice” gloves but the company will continue to offer three levels of protection and stiffness in the new Extreme Flex 3: The “Game Ready Palm” with 5/16-inch layer of felt; the “Pro Palm” with a 1/2-inch layer of felt; and the “Practice Palm” with two 5/16-inch layers.
Each model now also comes with a layer of D3O just under the surface of palm, as outlined in the illustration from CCM on the left, and that has led to some pros abandoning the Practice Palms they used to use to eliminate stingers while facing hundreds of shots in practice, and replacing it with a D3O-reinfoced Pro Palm. The trickle down includes added protection at each level, making Game Ready palms with D3O an option at higher levels, and because D3O doesn’t break down or soften over time like other materials, the protection won’t break down.
You can learn more about the remarkable D3O material in this video below:
InGoal Magazine ordered the Pro model for our Extreme Flex 3 test set, and as you can see in this video posted on our Instagram page soon after we unboxed the set, there were no issues closing the glove right away (also note how big and open it presents):
The Extreme Flex 3 glove still comes stock with Price’s preferred “600” break in the palm – it closes with the fingertips to the end of thumb, kind of like a first baseman’s mitt but can also be custom ordered in the “590” break that comes stock on Premier gloves, which closes along the middle of the hand below the knuckles, with the fingers pulling in to the base of the thumb, and in the “580” break preferred by Luongo, with the fingers closing into the palm and the pocket folding over at the top.
Like the Premier glove last season, the protection on the backside was improved with the use of firmer foams and the addition of an extra layer of protective foam over the fingertips. On the inside, the palm is still made with Sure Grip, which improves grip for easier closure while adding anti-microbial and wicking properties to help keep the inside of the hand dry and help eliminate odor over time. And, while it isn’t widely advertised, CCM will sew intermediate palms into full-sized senior gloves, which can be helpful for goalies with smaller hands that need narrower finger stalls.
As always, the CCM glove is made using more-expensive injection molded plastic components rather than compression molded parts that tend to lose their shape faster. This construction also anchors the consistency in shape and feel that NHL goaltenders have come to count on in CCM gloves.
D3O ADDED TO BLOCKER TOO
Reviewing CCM blockers is easy: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Several NHL goalies otherwise clad in other equipment still chose a CCM blocker because it’s long been one of the best balanced, most protective options. So the only change in the new Extreme Flex 3 is the addition of D3O on the index finger.
The thin orange layer of D3O wraps around the tip of the index finger. The rest of the feature on the binding-less Extreme Flex 3 blocker will be familiar to anyone who has used a CCM blocker.
There is an extra high-density foam finger guard layer inside the side board to prevent pucks from riding up a stick and reaching the index finger uninterrupted, and a thin layer of extra padding on the back of each individual finger in addition to the hard foam edges that wrap around them. There is soft pillow on the inside of the thumb protection, which is hinged at the base of the thumb to increase mobility while also ensuring the protection moves with, and stays close to the thumb. On the other side of that thumb hinge, between the wrist and the sideboard where the cuff opens up, is an extra piece of 1/2-inch thick foam padding, which not only provides extra protection, but also helps keep the sideboard square and 90-degrees to the face for maximum coverage when it turns in “blocking mode.”
Goalies can choose traditional Nash in the palm on custom orders but the Extreme Flex 3 comes stock with a Sure Grip palm because the gray material dries faster and increases longevity. The cuff can be adjusted with a combination of a wrist strap, laces and a Velcro attachment near the sideboard that can be loosened to allow goalies that prefer a cocked wrist to open it up more to increase wrist mobility or accommodate a longer, wider arm in their chest protector. Custom options include the ability to order the blocker with an “Offset” palm, which positions the hand about an inch higher on the board compared to the standard palm, which is centered.
Add in the new D3O and no wonder goalies like Price prefer the Extreme Flex 3 blocker:
— CCM Goalie (@CCMGoalie) May 9, 2017