Over the past few weeks, we have started to notice some of Bauer's biggest stars hitting the ice with some new wheels. Though we have yet to see anyone rocking the Hyp2rlite skates expected to release this summer, the new PowerFly holders that will come standard on them have started to debut on the likes of Connor Bedard, Patrick Kane, Cole Caufield, and Mo Seider.
Bauer's current TUUK holders are a favourite in the industry, and are by far the more popular option we see from pro players. In fact, it is very common to see pro stock CCM or True skates with TUUKs on them, partially because of player preference, and partially because they are widely considered the easiest holders for equipment managers to work with. They have been the standard for years, ever since first being introduced on the APX2.
Thankfully, it appears that the popular "trigger" system for popping steel in and out will remain. This feature has made carrying an extra set of steel so much more more feasible for the average player, which can help cut down on the number of trips to the pro shop to get a sharpen. Other brands have interchangeable steel as well, but releases are much more finicky, or require a tool like most old-school models.
As you might expect, the PowerFly holders will not be compatible with current Edge steel, and instead will require new "Fly" Runners with a slightly different fit (so much for that extra set of steel you just bought). It does, however, sound possible that the Fly steel will be reverse compatible and fit into Edge holders.
The overall size, weight, and riveting pattern will remain the same despite the distinctly different look, so the transition should be pretty smooth for players once they're on-foot. From our understanding, the primary difference is PowerFly holders will be quite a bit stiffer than current-generation holders, especially towards the front of the boot, which should ultimately lead to improved performance and explosiveness. We are curious to learn more about the variable stiffness and its impacts.
With any new release, uptake will be quicker among younger players, while most of the pro teams and players we deal with will likely stick with what they know, at least for the first few seasons. We will probably see a mix of holder styles for the next couple of years, and it could be 20+ seasons before the TUUK Edge holders are completely extinct from the NHL.
We are looking forward to learning more about the PowerFly holders in coming months!