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.
The Montréal Euro curve was a mid toe-curve monster. With a 5 Lie, this thing could roof just about anyone’s shot. “Twisted wristers” as my friend explained. That’s why so many guys used it. With little flex in the shafts, this curve made lifting the puck extremely easy. Most players could also control the puck very easily with the type of curve pattern. Many companies have tried to replicate this classic design but no one did it better than Montréal in the 1980s and 90s.
The Euro curve came over like Columbus on the Santa Maria, except not from Spain, from Finland. NHL stars like Kurri and Tikanen would use Montréal and Koho sticks because that is what they were accustomed to back home. This put Montréal Hockey on the map.
The Montréal Hockey Company started back in 1970. Made in Finland, they eventually paired up with Tackla (also from Finland) known for their great hockey pants and protective equipment. The M9 series of wood sticks and blades was one of Montréal’s biggest sellers. The M series had different number of layers of fiberglass on each blade. So the M9 had 9 layers, the M5 had 5 layers, and so on. All M series had an abs heel. This made them last longer and be more durable. The M5 and M9 series continue to be popular for Montréal even today.
In the 1980’s, Montréal used color to its advantage. Creating neon yellow and neon orange streaks for sticks made kids want them even more. They wrapped logo tape around parts of the shiny gold and silver shaft. I remember kids taking the gold shiny sticker off teammates Montréal sticks and then locker boxing to determine who took it. They were that popular in the late 1980’s. In the NHL, many European players used these as they came over from Finland.
Montréal continues to produce quality products today. Focusing on Montréal, Tac, and Frontier sticks and blades, and Tackla protective equipment. Montréal still makes the M9 Euro curve, but the look is no longer bright neon. Now it’s more traditional and boring, with white background and black lettering. Hopefully we’ll see another throwback neon version from Montréal in the near future.