This season, fans will see goalies from around the league wearing new equipment with different styles, designs, and new manufacturers. TRUE Hockey equipment is becoming more prevalent with NHL goalies. TRUE Hockey recently acquired Lefevre Inc. (aka Lefevre Goalie) after Lefevre’s design contract with CCM ended in 2019.
Carter Hutton began his first two seasons in Buffalo wearing CCM leg pads, glove, and blocker. This year he has left CCM and started wearing TRUE and Lefevre equipment. The only two pieces of equipment that have stayed the same are his Warrior stick and Vaughn mask. Hutton’s new TRUE leg pads are pretty similar to his former CCM equipment. Both CCM and TRUE have a single or double knee break in the leg pads that allow for more bend in the knees and a deeper stance.
The first three seasons with Buffalo, Ullmark was bouncing between the AHL and the NHL while using CCM equipment. As soon as Ullmark stuck in Buffalo it was a quick transition to Bauer. In the 2018- 2019 season, he wore a traditional Bauer 2S design that didn’t have as much of a knee break. Ullmark continues to wear everything Bauer and before each season he promotes his new designs on his Instagram.
Ullmark is 6’4, 218 pounds, and plays more upright. His goalie stance isn’t really deep so the straightness of the leg pads helps him play taller. On the other hand, Hutton is 6’0, 208 pounds, and plays with a deeper stance, so continuing to have the double knee break allows him to play lower and explosive.
Between the two netminders, Ullmark is more attentive to his equipment compared to Hutton. In the Sabres “Beyond Blue and Gold’’ episode titled “The Tandem Pt 1,” Ullmark says, “one of the reasons I love playing goalie is all the gear.” He continued to say, “I think he (Hutton) could be a little more interested in gear but that’s my job right now so I have to pull the weight of two guys on that area.”
In the same episode, Hutton chimed in and said, “at the start, he (Ullmark) would come over and ask me about my gear, why I wore this, why I wore that, and I’m like honestly I don’t know, I’ve had the same gear, I know what I like, I don’t know why I like it- it works for me.” Hutton also added, “I think some of the younger generations of goalies now really love gear and the design, but it’s good to have guys on the cutting edge too, so when new stuff comes out they are always challenging it and figuring out what works.”
On Ullmarks stick he notches out a finger grip on the paddle to allow for more control. Normally goalies place their index finger across the paddle but Ullmark makes a finger grip so he can control his stick movement more precisely. Hutton sticks to the traditional paddle but I wouldn’t be surprised if more goalies begin to make this small adjustment.