David Hutchison | Jan 22, 2019 | 0
Kevin Weekes debuts No5Hole Equipment Line
On and off the ice, Kevin Weekes has always been a man of style, so it seemed inevitable for the former NHL goaltender to blend his No5Hole apparel line with an equipment line.
Weekes took a step in that direction Saturday morning when he unveiled the first set of No5Hole pads and gloves built by Vaughn during a live Fox and Friends segment that took place on a makeshift outdoor rink outside their New York City studios.
The 11-year NHL veteran and current NHL Network star shared images of, and his insights into the initiative with InGoal Magazinebefore it hit the synthetic ice on Fox and Friends.
“It’s another creative outlet and another point of connection for No5Hole with goalies,” said Weekes, who played 348 NHL games with seven teams before retiring in 2009. “I loved Heaton and I really like Brian’s but I wore Vaughn most of my life. I grew up in Vaughn Legacy, loving Kirk Mclean’s look in Van and the red and white set Glen Hanlon wore in Detroit. And their vision was most aligned with mine in terms of creating a fusion of those traditional aesthetics with modern function.”
This set is a one-off for now, but Weekes is curious to see the reaction to his blend of modern equipment with some of the classic aesthetics he grew up with, and can see a day where goalies everywhere can order a set of their own No5Hole gear. He went over some of the specifics of those features with InGoal, but made it clear the black panther featured prominently on these is a personal touch, and doesn’t have to be part of every set.
“One of my minor hockey coaches with the Toronto Red Wings, the late Keith Armstrong, who had a big impact on me becoming an NHL goalie, gave me that nickname,” said Weekes, who did feature a black panther on a pair of pads he wore with the Tampa Bay Lightning. “He had nicknames for everyone and he always said I reminded him of a black panther because of my quickness and athleticism in net. It became an alter ego.”
Weekes envisions goalies being able to choose their own alter ego design. As for the rest of his custom No5Hole line, he called it a blend of “tradition meets modern.”
The cut-and-sew graphics are a big part of that, and you can see the level of detail in some of the close-up photos Weekes shared, both with InGoaland on his social media channels. But the use of the textured material on the outer roll of the pads and parts of the gloves, which Weekes called “elephant skin,” was actually inspired by the Air Jordan 3 shoes and his experiences with the basketball star having met Michael Jordan and played in his golf tournaments.
“I’m a sneaker-head as well as a gear-head and I love MJ,” said Weekes.
The chassis for this project is the current Velocity line, which makes more sense than their SLR edition because it’s a softer, more traditional fitting pad, and Weekes personal preference was always a pillow that “moved with the leg, rather than fitting loose and moving around it.”
While all the strapping and foams are based on modern puck-stopping technology — “At the end of the day it’s all about functionality on the ice,” Weekes said — he added some throwback fashion on the gloves, with the old “V” atop the blocker and a “fake cheater” on the trapper.
For Weekes, it’s about inspiring the same passion that drew him into local sports stores as a kid.
“I was in there smelling the leather, smelling the Clarino, trying on every glove, checking out every stick curve, every glove break,” he said. “I’ve always been a big gear-head. Equipment is about protection and performance, yes, but it’s also about a creative expression.”
Suffice to say Weekes has done that beautifully with this inaugural set of No5Hole gear.
The next question is whether the rest of us get to follow suit with versions of our own.
Enjoy more photos below, and let us know what you think of the design — and the idea of taking it public — in the comments at the bottom.