Players in the National Hockey League will need to consider the longstanding impact of their sticks moving forward into the 2020 season. Sacrificing their hockey sticks to intimidate opponents or express their aggression will be regarded as unwanted behaviour from coaching staff. This follows after the coronavirus in China, which is limiting the production of hockey sticks for global organizations. This extends to the NHL, which is raising concern regarding a shortage of sticks from CCM and Bauer. Their Chinese factories have been shut down since the outbreak reach their 1st peaks by February 5th. Subsequently, NHL outfits and players are beginning to prepare for a steep shortage. Some believe this shortage won’t last longer than two months.
It’s estimated that each player goes through 100+ sticks per season, with Jack Eichel and Tyler Seguin exceeding those numbers extensively. It’s reported that top-rated athletes in the National Hockey League use new sticks with each practice session or game. This luxury will be immediately terminated going forward, with CCM and Bauer representatives expressing that their monitoring this situation. There have even been players from the Toronto Maple Leaf’s and Dallas Stars that have brought home-based sticks to professional matches. It should be noted that both these manufacturers maintain production facilities in Tijuana, with 10% of their overall development going towards the NHL.
The Shortage Affecting CCM & Bauer
CCM and Bauer have received significant backlash from executives with the NHL, who claim their focus should be on prior contracts with sporting leagues and not global retail markets. This followed after both manufacturers said that amateur players wouldn’t have any impact on available products. However, considering that minor league hockey has more significant cash flows in North America, it’s not surprising that Bauer and CCM are focusing 90% of their production to retail markets.
This has resulted in NHL Equipment Managers, the representatives and players to navigate this shortage with the best of intentions. Paul Boyer from the Detroit Red Wings expressed that they have enough inventory to last two weeks, with the next shipment not coming for four weeks. This will create a two-week delay for multiple NHL organizations. It’s estimated that Bauer and CCM provide more than 50,000.00 hockey sticks throughout a standard NHL Season. This means 1600+ units per team. The NHL could be forced to contact other suppliers and create new contracts to keep teams stocked with hockey sticks.