The 2017-18 season was a step forward for the Philadelphia Flyers. Their 98 points were their most since 2011-12, and team leader Claude Giroux, oft-injured during the previous two years, had the best season of his 11-year career with 34 goals, 68 assists and 102 points.
Sean Couturier, 25, blossomed into stardom as the team’s No. 1 center. Twenty-one-year-old defenseman Ivan Provorov showed he could be the Flyers’ top blue-liner for the next decade.
Heading into free agency with ample salary cap space, the Flyers could be poised to find another gear. Which means finding Flyers gear will become that much more important to Philadelphia’s many passionate fans.
What’s in Claude’s Closet?
Giroux is a Bauer guy, from his skates to his helmet. That’s not a shock. Bauer dominates the NHL skate market, is its leading helmet supplier and narrowly ranks second to CCM for NHL-used sticks, gloves and pants.
But Giroux’s stick is a bit of an outlier. Last season he was the only player in the league to use the Bauer Vapor 1X LE. That’s essentially a 2015 stick design, replaced in 2017 with the 1X Lite, which has quickly become the second-most popular stick in the league (trailing only the Warrior Alpha QX).
What About the Other Studs?
- Provorov might be the bell cow when it comes to future Flyers’ equipment. In his second season in the NHL, he tied for the league lead for goals among defensemen with 17, averaged a team-high 24:09 ice time per game, and finished the season a plus-17. He’s another Bauer guy, and another who used a relatively obscure stick — though for different reasons than Giroux. Provorov was one of six players to use Bauer’s Nexus 2N last season, most likely because that update of the very popular 1N was slated by Bauer for a July launch to the general public.
- Travis Konecny is another 21-year-old, second-year player who made a nice jump from his rookie season. He scored 24 goals. He matured into a dependable first-liner. And he’s a Warrior — Warrior Hockey guy, that is. He carries Warrior’s Covert QRL stick with Covert QRL gloves and protects his head with a Covert PX2 helmet. His skates of choice are the Bauer Vapor 1X — but then, Warrior doesn’t make skates.
- Primarily known as a defensive forward, Couturier stepped up his offensive game with a career-high 31 goals — more than double his previous best. His gear is a bit of a mixed bag. Bauer supplies his sticks (Nexus 1N) and skates (Vapor 1X), while he wears Warrior gloves (Covert QR1) and a CCM helmet (Vector V08).
- Jakub Voracek remained productive, scoring 85 points on the season, despite being demoted to the second line to make room for Konecny. His stick (Vapor 1X Lite) and gloves (CCM Quicklite) are among the league’s most popular, but only 14 players used his helmet of choice (CCM Fitlite 80) — and he was the only guy in the league left on Reebok 11K skates.
In the Broad (Street) Strokes
No skate debate: Roughly 78 percent of the team wears Bauer. More than half the squad is in one of two models: the Vapor 1X (34.8 percent) or the Supreme 1S (21.8 percent) — which is a little odd, because the most popular skate in the league is the updated version of the 1X (the Vapor 1X 2.0), which ranks a distant third on the Flyers.
Brain buckets a no-brainer: The Flyers fall, essentially, into two camps. More than 39 percent of the team wears Bauer’s Re-Akt helmet, and nearly 35 percent wear the CCM Vector V08, the two most popular helmets in the NHL.
Ultimately, this team leans toward Bauer in every major equipment segment (sticks, gloves, pants, skates) except helmets. And there, CCM merely manages a draw with its fellow equipment supplier.