Most of us remember a time where, as a kid, we saw something and wanted it. No… Not wanted… HAD TO HAVE. Maybe it was candy, or a trading card, a video game, or hockey stick. Everyone has experienced this moment. Mine, however, was a little different.
It was 1994, I was playing for the AAA CT Yankees for the summer. The New York Rangers had just won the Stanley cup, and it was another tournament weekend in Canada. We got to the rink early for the first game of the tournament vs. Don Mills Flyers. As we walked in, my moment happened.
Outside the Pro Shop, an older gentleman had a table full of hockey cards, all encased, spread out like Thanksgiving dinner. All the guys on the team were looking through team pins, hockey cards, and trading books. I was curious about the commotion and went to have a look. Well, I wasn’t a collector of many cards, (I had a few favorites at the time) but I saw one that caught my eye. In fact, I’ll never forget it. It was the Upper Deck 1993-94 #30 Eric Lindros card. I wanted it! Not just because he was a god at this time and arguably the best player in the NHL, but also because on it I saw my next pair of gloves. That season Eric Lindros wore black and white Cooper Techniflex TF 1000 with Armourfoam. I NEEDED THESE!! They were the wicked gloves I had ever seen. When everyone was wearing gloves with huge cuffs or the Easton Air 9500 Gretzky glove, #88 stood out by wearing these. He rocked these awesome futuristic looking mittens. Even the name sounded epic: “Techniflex”
I first bought the card for $2. Then moved on to bribery, begging, and just about anything I could to get my dad to buy me those gloves. I mowed, hedged, swept, weeded, and took out more garbage than ever before.
My dad wasn’t a fool. He saw this and turned the game around on me, real quick. After a few weeks had passed, the deal was made. He said I could get the gloves under 3 conditions:
- Shoot 200 pucks daily. Out front of our house, on the concrete with real pucks (not electrical tape) into the wood shooter tutor.
- Start running, training, and dieting to improve my speed and pick up my effort on the ice.
- Stop fighting with my sister.
I made sure I got my hustle on with numbers 1 and 2. Number 3, not so much, but I did it quieter!! After that summer of hard work and effort, I finally got my wish. The Cooper Techniflex TF 1000 gloves shipped straight from Canada. I think they cost over $150 USD!!
Well, at least my dad can’t say they weren’t worth it. These were my favorite gloves ever. I still have them today and they are priceless to me. Almost 3 palms and hundreds of games later, after 4 NY state titles, and a national championship, I finally had to retire these beauties. I know they say it’s not the equipment, but, really, if you look back, all that hard work and effort for a dope pair of gloves? Yup. And I wouldn’t change it for a thing.
So as I put my Cooper Techniflexes back into “This Old Hockey Bag,” I hope you share and comment with your stories about your moment and how it changed you.
If you want to see what the Cooper Techniflexes have become in 2015, check out the Bauer Nexus Pro Custom Hockey Gloves.
I was talking to a teammate this week about the Vapor XXX Lite post from last week when he reminded me of possibly the best replacement blade ever: The Montréal Euro Curve.
His story went on that he broke the toe of the Vapor XXX Lite so he flipped it over and found an old Montréal Euro blade. When he looked at the curve, he was shocked. He immediately put the blade in and that night had six points. He bought a bundle of these replacement blades but currently was on his last one. This made me take a look back at this epic curve pattern from Montréal.
This week we are rewinding about only 10 years. It’s 2005 and Nike Bauer releases the lightest stick to date on the market: the XXX Lite, weighing in at a feathery 420 grams.
The graphics alone screamed at me the minute I laid eyes on it. The double concave shaft with a neon and chrome graphics package that was unreal. The look was seen from outside the boards of the arena. Everyone now had a reason to move away from his or her Easton S17 into the XXX Lite. Not black and dark like most composites on the market, white and neon. Instant Pop. You could watch NHL games and see it even better than the light up laser puck that FOX displayed at the time. It was truly revolutionary.