Coronavirus May Cause NHL Gear Shortage

By Ben Hamill - February 14 2020
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Coronavirus May Cause NHL Gear Shortage

It’s the unfolding of a plot not all that different to having read an entire mystery drama and with only five pages remaining in the book, there being not even the hint of an indication of how the author could possibly tie together all the loose ends with only a few pages to go. Case in point: the coronavirus has just managed to work its way into NHL news headlines.

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The latest development is that since all of NHL hockey stick manufacturer Bauer’s gear is produced in a single factory in China, and since authorities have extended the country’s Lunar New Year Holiday in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus, players may soon face a shortage of custom hockey sticks. This because of the fact that Bauer’s manufacturing plant in Tongxiang City is located smack-bang in the centre of a region ordered to shut down all business activities until further notice.

Only Customised Gear Affected

The factory in question has been closed since the end of last month and even though the expectation is that it may be permitted to resume business on Monday coming, there will without a doubt be a shortage to make up for resulting from the extended away-time. And since the virus isn’t showing signs of giving up the ghost just yet, an extension of the no-trade period may be on the cards after all.

The forced shut-down doesn’t at all affect the availability of amateur gear, said Bauer Hockey CEO Ed Kinally by way of an email statement. Retailers are well-stocked thanks to pre-ordered gear. The challenge relates to the high-end professional sticks used mainly by NHL players. Only custom sticks are therefore affected by the temporary closure of the plant.

Plan B Is Mexico

As it stands at the moment, the situation appears to be under control. And if the factory does resume business as usual on Monday there should be no major impact on the availability of custom-commissioned supplies since according to Bauer, back-up stock does exist in the US as well as Canada.

The problem lies with possibility of the factory having to remain out of action beyond the coming week. But even so, thanks to fellow-manufacturer Warrior Sports running a factory in Tijuana, Mexico, and the company’s willingness to step in and salvage the situation by off-setting any shortages if need be, the situation currently appears to be under control.

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