When a pandemic is disrupting society, the demand for hockey equipment isn’t as high as medical equipment. Hockey manufacturing company Bauer has taken that to heart.
Bauer is producing medical shields for hospitals and, according to a story from ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, has orders for more than 100,000 across Canada. Bauer CEO Ed Kinnaly told Kaplan that they are trying to get the word out in the U.S. as well.
"We've been doing outreach to various medical entities,” Kinnaly said. “We're also going to use our social channels to basically let the medical community know that we have the ability to produce these."
Protection that allows athletes to give everything for their team is our heritage.
Right now, we're all on the same team. We're repurposing our facilities to make face shields so that medical professionals battling COVID-19 can safely continue to help those most vulnerable. pic.twitter.com/pBiZuUWdVl— BAUER Hockey (@BauerHockey) March 25, 2020
In addition to providing a public need, the switch in production allows the company to keep people employed while regular production went down.
Kaplan has more details on how the production worked:
Bauer had some raw materials in-house; other components will be sourced locally in upstate New York and Quebec. Bauer produced a half dozen prototypes to get the fit right. The company then used relationships some employees had with medical professionals to review the product, testing on whether the fit was right and if it had the right coverage. That process -- from being greenlit, to securing the funding, to finding the right model -- was completed in four working days.
The Blackhawks have a dozen skaters who use Bauer, including Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith.