Shop Talk: Bauer World 17 shines light on new, exciting products
Bauer invites select dealers from the United States, Canada and Europe. The summit was held in downtown Toronto at the Westin Harbor Castle hotel located on Lake Ontario, a couple blocks from the Air Canada Centre, home of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
Having grown up in Toronto as a kid, but not having been downtown in years, I could not believe the number of high-rise apartments and construction sites. You can hardly see the Rogers Centre (home of MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays and located at the base of the CN Tower) entering the downtown area. It is a truly metropolitan city and the center of Canada’s financial district.
The Friday evening opening ceremonies for Bauer World 17 were held at the Hockey Hall of Fame. The HHOF is a truly unbelievable look into hockey’s past, covering over 100 years of NHL history and much more.
In the trophy room, Bauer had six-time Stanley Cup winner Mark Messier talk about his years in Edmonton and New York. Regarded by many as one of the best captains ever in any sport, Messier shared insights his into experiences and how they related to the team goal of winning a Stanley Cup. Also, former NHL goalie and “Hockey Night in Canada” commentator Glenn Healy was on hand to host the event and tell some funny stories. Healy is now on the board of the NHL Department of Player Safety. In between the two was the most storied trophy in team sports – the Stanley Cup. Also in the trophy room were all the NHL trophies from the Vezina, to the Hart, to the Norris.
Just reading the names etched on these magnificent trophies sends chills down your spine. If you haven’t been to the HHOF, it is definitely a bucket list item on any hockey player’s or fan’s list.
Bright and early Saturday morning, we got a glimpse at new Bauer 2018 products and business ideas. One product already out in Canada, but not in the USA, that intrigued me was the NeuroShield. The NeuroShield is a collar worn around the neck. It uses the body’s own physiology to help stabilize the brain by applying light pressure to the neck. It works by applying light pressure, slightly increasing the blood volume in the venous structures of the brain, an effect similar to a yawn or lying down. This helps reduce the movement of the brain within the skull. It is the result of over seven years of testing. A helmet protects your head from the outside; the NeuroShield protects your head from the inside – truly an amazing revolutionary concept in a world of concussions and sports. Bauer is hoping to have this available for the U.S. market in the near future.
Other cool new products were shown that will be launched in 2018. Local phenom Auston Matthews was plastered on most of the product images. It seems the local guy has made quite a splash with Bauer. He is now the face synonymous with the brand. It just so happened he scored the overtime winner that night against Montreal. Quite a few dealers asked about him and if we knew him or if he ever came in to our stores.
I arrived back in Arizona excited for the new products and direction Bauer was going, and Bauer’s commitment to being a strong partner to BTM. In the past, it always seemed like Bauer told us, but this time, they asked and listened.
Randy Exelby is the owner of Behind The Mask Hockey Shops.
(Nov. 14, 2017)