Hockey equipment company Bauer has created the Concept 3 Splash Guard (right) and a cap shield aimed at enabling the safe return of the sport. (Bauer Twitter photos)

Bauer unveils protective masks for hockey players, options for fans

Bauer’s Concept 3 Splash Guard expected to be available by August

Bauer Hockey has announced a new line of face-shield products aimed at keeping players safe in the event that hockey returns to the ice this fall.

The company, which earlier this spring began producing medical-grade face shields for front-line workers, is taking what it learned from that endeavour and applying it back to hockey, with specially-designed shields for players, coaches and fans, alike, according to a news release on Wednesday (June 17).

It’s hoped that the new products can spur forward hockey’s return which, given the difficulties of physical-distancing in a contact sport, has encountered a few challenges other sports have not had to deal with.

The on-ice shield for players is called the Bauer Concept 3 Splash Guard, which is similar to the traditional helmet shield, but are designed “to enhance coverage around the mouth and maintain a high level of vision and breathability.”

The Concept 3 guard is expected to be available in stores by August.

“It was a natural pivot for our team to shift from protecting players to members of the medical community in a time of crisis, and now we’re looking to continue our mission of protection as communities re-open and sports return,” said Craig Desjardins, vice president of product for Bauer Hockey.

Bauer announced two new products designed for those in the stands – the Integrated Cap Shield which attaches to a hat and a reversible fabric mask.

Bauer has also partnered with Canlan Ice Sports – which operates sports facilities across the country, including in B.C. – and all three new products will be used by Canlan’s staff, the release noted.

While professional hockey has its own set of challenges as it aims to return to the ice – Vancouver has been floated as a possible ‘hub city’ for the NHL’s return – it is unlikely to affect minor hockey’s return.

“Totally two separate scenarios, but that would be a question for the Health Authority who are outlining both situations,” BC Hockey’s Keegan Goodrich said in an email to Black Press Media this week.

Earlier this month, the provincial government also passed a cabinet order protecting amateur sports organizations from COVID-19-related liability.

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