Carey Rie looking down ice close up

Ann-Renee Desbiens was set to debut a special set of new CCM All Out Custom EFlex 5 at the World Championships in Halifax before the tournament was postponed this week but now that they’ve leaked online we can share the special story behind her CCM Heaton tribute.

And no, it had nothing to do with matching Martin Brodeur’s 2002 Olympics set.

Desbiens chose the design because she wore CCM Heaton Helite 10 pads as an 11-year-old and at the famous Quebec Pee Wee tournament, but there was one very notable exception for her new set up: this time she got the matching Heaton design on her gloves too.

“Growing up, money was a little tight so I would just get whatever we could find at used stores and it was never matching,” Desbiens told InGoal Magazine. “I think I got my first matching set when I was probably 16 or 17, so pretty late. They were CCM too, they were the same colors, mainly black, red and white, so kind of the reverse of these and I debated putting the exact same gloves as what it used to have, but I was like ‘no, I like matching more nowadays.’”

It wasn’t until later that she realized they matched Brodeur’s set.

“I remember sending a picture to Kaylie [Dankevy, CCM’s goalie product manager] like, ‘oh my god Marty wore them with a Hockey Canada jersey too, so I was like ‘oh that’s kind of what they’re going to look like, minus the open toe part because, definitely no,” Desbiens said. “So it’s kind of cool knowing the history of Marty and what he’s done for the goaltending community but my first idea was definitely to have the same one I had as a kid.”

As for that toe cap and the leather strap running through the boot of the pad that Brodeur used to wear, Desbiens wore her new set for one practice with Team Canada in Halifax and said a few of her teammates had to look twice to make sure they weren’t real.

“Even the leather strap, my teammates were like ‘wait, that’s not an actual strap?’ They had to touch it to make sure that it was not a real one,” she said with a laugh. “I was like ‘no, it’s just printed on there,’ and they’re like, ‘Oh my god.’ They we’re looking at the screws and they’re like ‘wait a minute,’ so it was kind of funny to see them. I was super excited, obviously.”

EFlex 5 Design published with permission by @thevincenzoarnone 

Desbiens hopes to debut the pads, which if you look closely feature subtle maple leafs on the red portions of the Heaton 10 graphic, in game action if and when the World Championships are rescheduled for later this season ahead of the 2022 Olympics, and admits it isn’t always easy to come up with a design for Hockey Canada because she can’t use their logo on her CCM equipment due to an affiliation with Bauer. The first designs sent to her featured variations of flags and maple leafs, but she just wasn’t feeling it and admitted at one she was worried she wouldn’t be able to match the design Bauer did for teammate Geneviève Lacasse.

“Having flags and maple leafs all over my pads, I don’t know, it just doesn’t connect with me, she said of the early designs she was sent. “And Lacasse just got her new pads and they were pretty cool so I was like ‘oh I don’t know if I could compete with her,’ so I wanted to go a different way and that’s when I remembered I had those old CCM Heaton pads and it would be really cool for me to get to wear those again and hopefully get matching gloves this time.”

Clearly it worked out for Desbiens. Now the hockey world just needs the IIHF to work out a new date for the Women’s World Championships so we can all see them in action.

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