by Kirk Allen
Being able to represent Warrior Goalie, while working in sales, for the past two years has been a thrilling journey. I’ve had the privilege of traveling across North America for so many cool reasons. Whether it’s spending the day discussing stick constructions in our California-based R&D lab, hopping in the car to drive down to the GGSU Legends Camp in Chicago or picking up the phone to discuss future product designs with Warrior’s head of R&D, Pete Smith, my days at Warrior have always been enjoyable to say the least and things just keep getting more exciting.
My name is Kirk Allen and for the past seventeen years, the goaltending position has been my passion. I started playing in net simply for one reason and one reason only; the gear. I was the kid that, even when I had to play “out” in street hockey, I still wore a Franklin goalie mask so that I could set it on top of my head and grab water from the top of the net between plays. When my friends couldn’t come down to play mini-sticks, I’d grab the goalie stick and flip backhands to my glove side to practice my best Mike Richter extension saves. From the age of eight, the types of videos that occupied my VHS player were titles like “NHL: Masked Men” and “Jim Park: The Puck Stops Here (Volumes 1 & 2)” and if you have never seen these videos before, or if you’re young enough to not have recollections of VHS tapes, do a quick YouTube search on those, sit back and enjoy! Like most goalies, the feeling of stretching my arm out on a backdoor play where the puck coincidentally pulls my hand into a windmill is one of the many reasons why I decided to continue putting my pads on for so many years.
I tell you these stories because to this day, those memories of my early years as a netminder are what molded me into the man I am today. I have spent the past nine years coaching goaltenders of all ages. Something I started doing while I was in High School for a local youth team has now grown into coaching on multiple teams across Michigan during the season and as a Certified Instructor at an elite goalie school in the summer. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a kid enjoy goaltending. Fellow goalie coaches out there know what I’m talking about when I say that sometimes when you shoot a puck into an eight year old’s glove during a Coach vs. Goalie game, you get more enjoyment out of it than the kid does once they drop the puck in front of you with the “That’s all you got?” look in their eye. Eight year olds have chirped me off the ice too…many times!
Whether it is playing goalie or coaching goalies now, I know that from the moment my head gets off the pillow in the morning to when it hits it again at night, goaltending is constantly on my mind. Thankfully, I now have a job that requires me to do so.
I’m extremely proud to announce that after being a road warrior to demo events, sales presentations and all types of product meetings, that I will now occupy the position of Product Manager of Goalie for the fastest growing hockey company; Warrior. During my days, I’ll be engaged in marketing, product direction, customer feedback and market research. And the best part, I’ll be sharing that information with you. Being a product manager means I’ll be able to teach goalies all about the Warrior Ritual line of goalie equipment; the most innovative line of gear in hockey today! I look forward to the future of Warrior Goalie. At Warrior, there is a team of people who are fully committed to designing and building the best equipment possible in order to elevate your game to the next level. If you have never had the chance to talk with Pete Smith or Neal Watts (Goalie Research & Development), you will never meet two guys who are more committed to seeking out new ways to improve upon the gear that we, as goalies, rely on to do our jobs on the ice. They understand that we are always trying to get to the next level and we will do whatever it takes to achieve our goals.
I am beyond excited to be joining a team and company that are so focused on paving the way for the future of goaltending equipment! Although my eight year old self’s first choice would have been to play in the NHL, I’m pretty sure that talking about and working with goalie equipment all day would’ve been an acceptable second choice!