by KP: Warrior Hockey Marketing
When Wayne Gretzky reached out to us a year ago to build his equipment for his Fantasy Camps and the upcoming Heritage Classic, we were pretty sure we were well-staffed to help.
One of our current Pro Reps for teams like the Kings, Ducks and Sharks, Peter Millar, has a close personal relationship with Wayne. He was a trainer/equipment manager with the Edmonton Oilers and then moved with Wayne to the LA Kings. Peter worked closely with Wayne on what gear he would wear for the Heritage Classic Alumni game and how exactly we would customize what he wanted.
First we worked on sticks.
Gretzky had a very specific color scheme he wanted to go with. Orange base with blue and white accent decoration (logos/brand marks). He also asked that we print this special logo for the event on his sticks.
Gretzky went with an old school (by today’s standards) one-piece fused construction with a little added weight. His length spec is 55.75″ and is a 95flex. Pretty much in keeping with the sticks that he’s always used. Simple, short, great solid feel and stiff.
His blade mold (which we made just for him) is vintage Gretzky. Pretty flat, with a small mid-curve and very slight open toe. Low lie (approx 3.5)
All through the process, we built samples for him and sent them to him and his team for approval. The process took a few rounds of samples on both graphics and construction. But we nailed the final product.
Once we got his sticks dialed in on looks and specs, we started work on his gloves.
Gretzky has always used gloves with long cuffs. He wasn’t as finicky on his glove specs, but requested that we build him a pair with long “Gretzky cuffs” (as we call them) and a pair with conventional cuffs. Well, from the looks of his on-ice practice today, he went with the long cuffs…keeping with his iconic look.
I mean, really, would it be Gretzky gloves without long cuffs?
Another thing we did special for Wayne was we built the backhand, fingers and thumb structure using our newest glove coming out in 2017. Can’t say much about the new model now, but we thought it was only fitting that he be the first in the world to wear them.