Hockey equipment has changed significantly over the years, perhaps more so than any other sport.
With innovation, comes a lot of failure, so we’ve seen a lot of hockey equipment fall by the wayside. Just consider that about 20 years ago, most people were still using wood sticks. Of course, those work fine for our friends at On The Bench or any other old-time hockey players running rec leagues around Canada, but not for anyone else.
So, if at some point you were looking to get an edge on the competition through your equipment, you probably tried one of the following pieces of equipment that has since disappeared from hockey.
T-Blades are easily the loudest addition to any person’s hockey gear audibly and visually. They were often created in very bright solid colours and looked like something from the future, but now they’re a thing of the past. You replaced the blades instead of sharpening them, but eventually people opted to just replace the holders altogether.
Suprisngly, T-Blades are still kicking around and they did have a loyal following. If you’ve been missing out on them at your local hockey store, they’re still here.
People still love these, it's mainly for their nostalgic appeal because they’re just not realistic. As there is more and more emphasis put on the flex of the stick (Players are starting to go softer and softer, with Gaudreau using a 55-flex stick), having something as stiff as these aluminum shafts was just silly. Now, they’re more of a collector’s item.
Curtis Curve Goalie Sticks
The plan for these sticks was to be able to get your stick flatter when you put it on the ground, but they were just difficult to use in every other situation. As with many other items on this list, we’re sure there are some goalies that have been searching the globe for them since they started to go extinct, but the popular opinion was a hard pass on these sticks.
The Reebok O-Stick wasn’t a failure per say, but the O part of them seemed a bit gimmicky. The idea was that with holes in them, there was less air resistance on the blade, but come on. Even if there was, it would have been pretty minimal.
Offset Stick Blades
These were supposed to give players a more aligned stick, as the two piece blades curve back along the shaft in an attempt to align the puck with the shaft. From everything we’ve heard on these, there was a significant adjustment period that just didn’t make them viable for anybody already playing hockey.
Mark Messier Helmets
Mark Messier’s helmet was always a bit bizarre, but after retiring he tried to help the hockey world by making a helmet that would help reduce concussions in the NHL. Of course, he wasn’t entirely successful as concussions are still a prevalent problem, but the company was eventually bought by Bauer and their goofy designs were gone for good.
Reebok Pumps have been around for a long time and likely still will be as the company has shifted their focus back to footwear. However, their time in hockey has come to an end as CCM hockey took over all of the hockey equipment.
The Pumps had a somewhat successful stint in hockey, largely because Sidney Crosby was a Reebok athlete for so long, so those were always popular with kids.