Hockey Headlines

Friday, 14 January 2011

Skate Fender Updates

As you know, I've been promoting the Skate Fenders brand since we first learned about this new equipment back on January 21 of last year. Frank McClelland has been working diligently to improve his product while getting the product onto the skates of hockey players, and things are really going well from what it seems. I can tell you that I strapped my Skate Fenders onto my MLX Skates the other day as I began the testing of the new skates, and we'll have an update on the skates in about a week's time. However, today is all about Skate Fenders as we find out how the skate guard business is progressing in Michigan.

I contacted Mr. McClelland shortly before the holidays, and he was happy to report that business is going extremely well. Mr. McClelland has 15 NHL teams using the Skate Fenders, and all of those team's AHL affiliates are now wearing the Skate Fenders. Some teams have chosen to only wear them during practices as a safeguard against injuries during practice, but having at least 30 professional hockey teams in North America wearing the Skate Fenders is a huge accomplishment!

Mr. McClelland also reports that production has been difficult to keep up with in terms of the number of Skate Fenders being ordered from the NHL teams right down to recreational players. And the orders are starting to come in from college players and Europe as well, so the demand is growing for the Skate Fenders. This is an excellent sign that the Skate Fenders do indeed work!

There have been some changes to the Skate Fenders, so if you already bought a pair, you may consider a re-investment in the near future. Mr. McClelland indicates that there are new sizes available, and there have been some changes with the composition of the Skate Fenders. Basically, they are using a new polycarbonate that provides much better strength and durability, and the straps that keep the Skate Fenders in place on your skates have been changed for added durability as well.

There has been one major change seen that affects one of the major players in the Skate Fenders story. Production of the Skate Fenders has been moved closer to Mr. McClelland's hometown, and he and this new company have developed a "great working relationship". This is good to hear, and I wish Mr. McClelland well with this new company!

There are still a number of legal battles that involve the Skate Fenders design and patents, and I'm not here to air Mr. McClelland's laundry for everyone to see. The success of this equipment should be enough proof that Skate Fenders do work, and the claims against the Skate Fenders company seem laughable. However, that's why lawyers get paid a lot of money - just because it seems like common sense doesn't mean it is common or sensible. I wish Mr. McClelland nothing but the best in these battles.

What had me intrigued was that Mr. McClelland is investigating a larger size yet that seems to be intended for professional hockey players. Equipment managers have told Mr. McClelland that they will gladly replace broken Skate Fenders over having a player with a broken foot, and I'm sure you'd agree. All of the players wearing Skate Fenders have yet to report a foot injury, so the evidence is there that this equipment does work. However, because Red Wings' equipment manager Paul Boyer said, "It’s another world out there" in regards to how hard NHL players can shoot a puck, Mr. McClelland has now put his thinking cap back on to see if he can come up with a pro model for high-level hockey players. As Mr. McClelland told me, these new pro model Skate Fenders should "be able to take a direct hit from one of the Star Ship Enterprise's photon torpedoes". Now that's protection!

All in all, it sounds as though the Skate Fenders business is really doing well, and I'm happy for the success of this excellent product. I want to thank Mr. McClelland for keeping me up-to-date on the story of his business, and for providing me with a new pair of Skate Fenders to use! I am eternally grateful to you, Frank, and there are a few beverages on me if and when I make it to Michigan!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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