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Yep.... Vaughn have not been able to secure much of a space in the goalie skates market. This could be a great opportunity for them now. Bauer is kind of in trouble, and Graf has a very solid reputation in goalie skate circuits. Vaughn has pretty solid protective gear "legacy" and Graf has the skates, seems to me like a match made to success. Other Graf product which is undervalued I think, is their underwear. Obviously, their footbeds and laces are pretty well regarded products and should move nicely if they become solidly available. As for the players skates, they do need to do some catching up although their G75 range is pretty nice. It can be used by Graf philosophy indoctrinated skater who wants to have more ankle articulation as well as the ski-booter for who they have G75-HI-EXTRASTIFF option, which probably can "cast" your leg better than any other skate on the market I think, their sticks got some traction as well, but they really need to work on their endorsement skills and try to capitalize of PeakSpeed development as there are some good nuggets in there. To me, all this is a good opportunity and timing for Vaughn to become a solid competitor to CCM and Bauer and normalize the market a little bit. This also can put Graf in much better standing in Europe if the partnership is mutual.    

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15 minutes ago, Kgbeast said:

Yep.... Vaughn have not been able to secure much of a space in the goalie skates market. This could be a great opportunity for them now. Bauer is kind of in trouble, and Graf has a very solid reputation in goalie skate circuits. Vaughn has pretty solid protective gear "legacy" and Graf has the skates, seems to me like a match made to success. Other Graf product which is undervalued I think, is their underwear. Obviously, their footbeds and laces are pretty well regarded products and should move nicely if they become solidly available. As for the players skates, they do need to do some catching up although their G75 range is pretty nice. It can be used by Graf philosophy indoctrinated skater who wants to have more ankle articulation as well as the ski-booter for who they have G75-HI-EXTRASTIFF option, which probably can "cast" your leg better than any other skate on the market I think, their sticks got some traction as well, but they really need to work on their endorsement skills and try to capitalize of PeakSpeed development as there are some good nuggets in there. To me, all this is a good opportunity and timing for Vaughn to become a solid competitor to CCM and Bauer and normalize the market a little bit. This also can put Graf in much better standing in Europe if the partnership is mutual.    

Maybe they did but some notable Graf goalies like Carey Price have switched to VH. The number of NHL goalies in VH skates has surpassed 50% this past season, so I don't know what that means for Graf goalie skates.

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3 minutes ago, Larry54 said:

Maybe they did but some notable Graf goalies like Carey Price have switched to VH. The number of NHL goalies in VH skates has surpassed 50% this past season, so I don't know what that means for Graf goalie skates.

Carey Price appears to be a pretty die-hard Graf goalie, even with VH, he still keeps Graf cowlings. It is quite possible, he will go back to Graf if it becomes a solid brand. That said, with the collapse of Graf Canada, pros, goalies and players, who was wearing Grafs have switched mostly to VH and quite likely, without an endorsement, most of them will not go back to Graf anytime soon. That said, the new generation and non-pro goalies might flack over resurrected brand. I just see that both Graf and Vaughn are in decline, and this union might be just what both of them need to get back in the game in a significant way.

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I highly doubt he'd switch back. People don't really switch away from VH unless they have a hard time getting used to having a skate that fits so well.

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9 minutes ago, IPv6Freely said:

I highly doubt he'd switch back. People don't really switch away from VH unless they have a hard time getting used to having a skate that fits so well.

My opinion is based on the assumption that someone like Carey Price would have a custom fit skate from Graf as well, which i'd suspect would fit as good as the VH he got now. If I am wrong, then yes, I would not expect him to go back, quite agree.

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3 minutes ago, Kgbeast said:

My opinion is based on the assumption that someone like Carey Price would have a custom fit skate from Graf as well, which i'd suspect would fit as good as the VH he got now. If I am wrong, then yes, I would not expect him to go back, quite agree.

you mean to tell me Carey Price isn't pullin skates off shelves at his local Sportchek?

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FYI, Price is in one of the first pros now VH 2-piece models, closely resembling the Bauer 1S as it's a reinforced boot with a Step/VH proprietary holder and steel combo.
Should be available to us around Dec-Jan from what I was told by VH. No chance he goes back to Graf.

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7 hours ago, IPv6Freely said:

It's been available to the public for a long time. It also came out long before the 1S did ;)

Has it? Because he's the first person I remember seeing wearing it for a while... To be honest VH didn't even do the whole carbon boot/cowling combination first either as Hiller and Halak have been wearing a European made one for years.

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1 hour ago, Hills said:

Has it? Because he's the first person I remember seeing wearing it for a while... To be honest VH didn't even do the whole carbon boot/cowling combination first either as Hiller and Halak have been wearing a European made one for years.

Getting close to a year at this point. I know a few people who have a set of them. I think they went retail around March? 

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15 minutes ago, IPv6Freely said:

Getting close to a year at this point. I know a few people who have a set of them. I think they went retail around March? 

Yeah, I don't think that is right at all since VH isn't even showing Price wearing his 2-piece goal skate right now. They've been showing off their 1-piece version but not a 1S style skate anywhere. Unfortunately their website seems to be down but quickly skimming through their social media sites and the only goal skate they post are cowling ones and their 1-piece.

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1 minute ago, Hills said:

Yeah, I don't think that is right at all since VH isn't even showing Price wearing his 2-piece goal skate right now. They've been showing off their 1-piece version but not a 1S style skate anywhere. Unfortunately their website seems to be down but quickly skimming through their social media sites and the only goal skate they post are cowling ones and their 1-piece.

Sorry, I thought we were talking about the 1-piece. Nevermind. 

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17 hours ago, Kgbeast said:

Yep.... Vaughn have not been able to secure much of a space in the goalie skates market. This could be a great opportunity for them now. Bauer is kind of in trouble, and Graf has a very solid reputation in goalie skate circuits. Vaughn has pretty solid protective gear "legacy" and Graf has the skates, seems to me like a match made to success. Other Graf product which is undervalued I think, is their underwear. Obviously, their footbeds and laces are pretty well regarded products and should move nicely if they become solidly available. As for the players skates, they do need to do some catching up although their G75 range is pretty nice. It can be used by Graf philosophy indoctrinated skater who wants to have more ankle articulation as well as the ski-booter for who they have G75-HI-EXTRASTIFF option, which probably can "cast" your leg better than any other skate on the market I think, their sticks got some traction as well, but they really need to work on their endorsement skills and try to capitalize of PeakSpeed development as there are some good nuggets in there. To me, all this is a good opportunity and timing for Vaughn to become a solid competitor to CCM and Bauer and normalize the market a little bit. This also can put Graf in much better standing in Europe if the partnership is mutual.    

You make this seem as if retail customers in North America still want Graf.

They don't.  For quite some time now.

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Not at all trying to make it seam as if EVERY retail (or non retail for that matter) customer wants Graf. I just think that perhaps 15%-20% would not mind to see what Graf can offer. This thread has many posts where members expressed some love towards the brand, I just put some updates for them.

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1 hour ago, Kgbeast said:

Not at all trying to make it seam as if EVERY retail (or non retail for that matter) customer wants Graf. I just think that perhaps 15%-20% would not mind to see what Graf can offer. This thread has many posts where members expressed some love towards the brand, I just put some updates for them.

Lots of folks loved the brand, 20-30 years ago when there was quality product to be had.

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But how many players are there that are 30 years old or older, and how many need new skates every season? 

 

The market is changing a little bit right now, with more and more players giving CCM a chance, especially since they have a money back guarantee right now on their new Tacks line, but, skates are still dominated by Bauer. For us its still 70% Bauer, 30% CCM. A little better from a couple years ago when it was 80-85% Bauer, 2-3% Graf and 10-15% CCM. 

I say give it another 2 or 3 years and we'll start seeing some 50-50 sales for the average skater, but until then Bauer is still king with skates.

 

As for the Graf skate stuff - its delaying the inevitable I think. They're going to die. With lower and lower margins, and retailers not wanting to dive into large stocks of skates due to so much turnover and clearance product out there, its not the most incentive business. Vaughn if the move is to improve their goalie skate sales, I don't know how much this will help. It will I think but is the investment worth it? Goalie skates are a niche market since how many goalies are there to skaters? And a lot of goalies also have a pair of ice skates, so the sales are probably 1 goalie skate to 15-20 player skates. 

There currently isn't a company out there I think that can compete with Bauer and CCM in the overall department, especially skates. Warrior, STX, True, Vaughn, Eagle, Sher-wood, Graf, Brian's, Winnwell, Montreal, Tackla, etc etc etc etc all have their niche. Bauer and CCM are so great overall. Warrior, Sher-wood, True, STX are probably best known for their sticks. Eagle gloves, Tackla pants, Graf skates (although not popular skates), Vaughn and Brian's goalie, Winnwell and Montreal ???, There are so many companies out there and some definitely have the capital to get a start in the skate department to try to become an overall brand in the hockey game, however none of them have the shelf appeal to become an actual important factor in skates. I know a lot of retailers would just prefer if they all died and it left CCM and Bauer standing. I try to give options to customers, for instance I have True, STX, Sher-wood, and Warrior composites in this year in addition to CCM and Bauer, however unless the margins are there for us and are better than what Bauer is offering, I'd rather sink that money into Bauer product since I know its going to sell and its going to sell quickly. And for the companies who aren't going to make it worth the while for us, I'll still get some but the quantity isn't going to be much.

 

The only way I can see Graf (or whatever becomes out of this stuff) to succeed on the market is ditching the name and do a Vaughn powered by Graf (for goalie - maybe get True/STX/Warrior on board for player skates?) but make it the most valuable skate on the market at the price. Example - for $70 PP have it comparable to Bauer's $100 PP. have the $150 PP be the market's standard for a $200 PP (with removable steel, etc), have the $200 like the $300, $300 like $400, then maybe have a $500 skate worth a $600-700 skate, and have a skate retailing at $850 that's just as nice if not nicer than the top-end on the market. THEN, to make it worthwhile for the retailers, give them amazing margins. Better than anything out there on the market. That is the only way I can see a new skate company being successful - higher quality products and lower than industry standard wholesale prices. 

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I agree with this except for need to ditch Graf name. Not sure why that would be necessary as the name is pretty solid and is well regarded. Agree with the point about bringing more value for lesser price tag. I think they did attempt that with peakspeed line. It is very conservative looking line, but have some awesome features from top to the bottom of the line and especially for junior and youth. Features such as lined box, moldable footbeds, moldable quarter, replaceable blades, flexible tendon guard, stay in place tongue. It also is one of the lightest lines  if not the lightest. And it is priced cheaper than the comparable B/C. I think they started getting on the right track, just perhaps a little late. I also agree that it is in the retailers interest for these little brands to just to go away, but it is not in the consumers best interest. More competition means more value for the consumers buck and more incentive for the manufacturers to innovate and remain properly sized for the available market.

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5 minutes ago, chippa13 said:

If by a solid name you mean known for slipshod workmanship and sketchy customer service, then sure, the Graf name is pretty solid and well regarded.

For a moment there, thought you were talking about Bauer.

 

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