With the beginning of each NHL season comes new equipment. From pre-season to April, the pros are the only ones allowed to wear these coveted pieces of equipment and create an inevitable hype for all the young hockey players out there. Every April, CCM releases a new goal line. Last April, CCM unveiled the new Extreme Flex II leg pads, glove and blocker to the general public; this April, they unveil a new series under a new name.
Since 2004, we have become accustomed to seeing the name ‘Reebok’ be so widely associated with hockey. Goalies have seen five generations of the extremely successful Premier Series, and each one of these series was under the RBK or Reebok name. This April, 2016 will be the release of the new CCM Premier line. We got a set early and able to take them out on the ice at our partner goalie training centre - Magic Hockey
CCM Premier Pro Leg Pads Leg Pads
From inception in 2004, all the way to today, Reebok/CCM has become a dominant force in the goalie world; the Premier series has certainly been the most popular amongst goalies, on average. Leaps and bounds later, CCM has designed the lightest Premier pad yet.
Easily the most noticeable feature of the new Premier leg pads is the thinner thigh rise profile. While past Premier pads were great, one small flaw with them was that they were a little chunky. CCM has redesigned the thigh rise with thinner, higher density foam. This new thigh rise is the main component of the lightest Premier pad yet. A thinner, lighter thigh rise also lowers the centre of mass of the pad and makes up-down movements easier.
The redesigned profile alters the position your knee lands in the knee stack; a deeper knee stack allows you to sit further back and decrease interference with your pants. Resolving this interference enables the Premier to lay completely flush on the ice, sealing up the holes, and make sliding on the ice a smooth sail. The newest maneuver used by many goalies is the “reverse VH”, which is your foot against the post with your knee down and your other foot planted to hold you up. This makes a half butterfly, if you will, for in-tight play at the post or wrap-arounds.
For a couple years, now, CCM has partnered with the University of Western Ontario and studied the butterfly. The objective of the study was to find the strapping configuration that led to the quickest butterfly, and what straps are necessary. Their findings have ultimately led to the new style of strapping we see on the Premier pads. The new strapping on the stock Premier pads is as follows: a removable boot strap, a large Velcro calf strap, an adjustable knee/below knee leather strap, a Velcro knee strap, and the top leather calf strap. Replacing leather straps with Velcro has been done for a few years, now, and it considerably reduces the weight of any pad, but keeping the top leather calf strap was important for CCM; the top leather calf strap plays an important role in the function of the pad, because it hugs the top of your calf as you transition into the butterfly.
With a redesigned thigh rise, a deeper knee stack and new strapping, the CCM Premier leg pads have been specifically engineered to provide great structure, coverage, and weight for any goaltender. Come April, 2016, you can get your hands on the CCM Premier leg pads!
CCM Premier Pro Blocker
The Premier blocker follows a design that is very similar to that of the XLT. The blocker board has a less aggressive board angle to allow for more predictable rebounds, similar to the pads. Coverage is a big deal for goalies, so the Premier blocker will come stock without a binding (binding is accounted for in the legal measurements) to get every bit of size possible and to have that new era, aesthetic look. CCM will be giving the option of custom ordering your Premier blocker with a binding: something to get that classic Premier series look.
Usually the mantra is “a blocker is a blocker,” so CCM’s consistency either confirms this, or denies it. While many companies change the layouts of the blocker over an extended period of time, the Premier blocker has kept nearly the same design for eleven years, dating back to the original Premier Series 1.
Like Premier blockers before it, the new CCM Premier gives you the maximum amount of coverage you’re allowed to have on your one hand. Fortunately, a big blocking board isn’t the only thing CCM is worried about; Premier blockers have consistently been the most well-balanced blocker, in terms of weight, and continue to be. A heat laminated dual-density foam blocker board makes up most of the weight of the blocker, so making a substantial side hand protection balances out the overall weight. At sub-two pounds, the Premier blocker makes for a lightweight, mobile blocker.
The new Premier blocker also features ‘D3O’ in the index finger. D3O, although a solid, acts as a liquid when it is pulled apart slowly. When pulled apart quickly, or comes in immediate contact with something, it stiffens up and acts as a solid. To be used in CCM Premier equipment, D3O is pressurized and turned into sheets of foam. These sheets of foam keep the solid properties of the D3O.
The CCM Premiers will be available April 2016!
CCM Premier Pro Trapper
Another season, and another great trapper from CCM. The new Premier trapper continues the same Reebok/CCM 590 and 580 designs, with a few tweaks. While many goalies switched to CCM’s 600 break—stock on E-Flex II—the 590 and 580 breaks, collectively, are still the most used trappers by their goalies. To clarify, the 590 closure breaks in the middle; the 580 closure breaks close to your thumb. These two breaks provide less catching surface area than the E-Flex II, and more blocking surface area. But, because more aggressive puck catching is being used by goalies in today’s game, CCM has re-designed the proportions of the trappers to give a little more catching surface to the 590 and 580 trappers.
To increase catching surface area on the new Premier trapper, CCM has reduced the width of the cuff and increased the finger lengths of the trapper. These changes do not provide a drastically different look of the trapper, but the 580 does look distinctly different (in fact, it was one of the first things I noticed when I saw Luongo’s Premiers at their goalie summit).
The new Premier trapper also features ‘D3O’. The foam is used in the palm of the trapper, to help reduce stingers. D3O, although a solid, acts as a liquid when stretching slowly. When it is pulled apart quickly, or comes in immediate contact with something, it stiffens up and acts as a solid. To be used in CCM Premier equipment, D3O is pressurized and turned into sheets of foam. These sheets of foam keep the solid properties of the D3O. See the video above for more info on D30.
Not only is the Premier glove extremely easy to catch with, but it is one of the best trappers for puck handling, whether you play the puck overhand or underhand. The anatomical hand strapping has a lot to do with this, because your hand always has a consistent grip on the glove, but the break angles are key. The 590 break angle closes thumb to index finger which is easy for under hand traditional puck playing. If you play the puck overhand, the 580 break is probably the most comfortable glove for the movement. Because the 580 closes fingers to palm, it is really easy to get a good grip on the shaft of your stick without putting your arm in an uncomfortable position.
If you want the 600 break with your new set of CCM Premiers, you will be able to order it custom. The CCM Premiers are in-stock now!
CCM Premier Pro Gallery