.My name is Randy Langille, founder of Integral Hockey Stick Repair and I have spent my working life manufacturing and repairing different products ranging from Kayaks and small boats, to aircraft components, to luxury yachts.
In 1994, I repaired my first composite hockey sticks as an experiment to see how well it would hold up. It held up, but was not visually appealing. It took far too long to repair a stick. I have never given up on figuring out a good way to repair these sticks. Testing different techniques over the next 20+ years, in late 2010, I eventually recalled a process I had used in manufacturing aircraft components. This idea came to me at 3:00 in the morning. By 4:00 am I was at my workbench repairing some sticks that belonged to some players with very upset parents. With some modifications to the tooling and materials, I knew this new process would revolutionize the hockey stick repair market.
My next step was to research every hockey stick repair process and product on the market to see if there was even room for improvement. I found a couple of companies that were repairing sticks with the same primitive processes that I was testing in 1994. There was not only room for improvement, there was an opportunity to be the first company to repair a stick that would actually perform the same as it did before it was broken. I knew I may have found a niche market.
I knew the first thing I needed to do was see a patent attorney protect the idea. After getting the initial green light to proceed with a prior art patent search, he suggested I go visit a colleague of his who happens to be a franchise attorney.
That same day, I met with our franchise attorney, where she asked me many questions about the process, system, projected revenues, and costs. While she did not look up from her calculator much over the next 20 minutes, I grew less enthusiastic and expected a negative response. After she had finished entering all of the numbers, however, she looked up and said “You really have something here!” We proceeded to file patent and trademark applications in Canada and the USA, and produce an FDD and Franchise Agreement right away.
We developed our first Canadian franchise location in February of 2011, and our first USA location opened in January 2013. Integral Hockey now has over 100 locations throughout North America. Year over year, Integral Hockey has been recycling more and more sticks. The educated and loyal consumer is reaping the benefits in a meaningful way!
In February 2020, Integral Hockey was on track for its busiest year. Almost every location was seeing increased brand awareness and sales. Then Covid-19 showed up and changed everything. Not only Integral Hockey Stick Repair but most hockey businesses and the game, in general, came to a screeching halt! Currently, the game’s schedule, and format of play is still in question.
During Covid, it isn’t the best time to be in the hockey business. However, Integral Hockey is looking to the future. We are working to make sure that as many people as possible understand the benefits that our company provides. These benefits are relevant to the current issues faced by this new world.
Many people have been impacted financially by Covid-19. The days of a family spending $350 on a new stick without a second thought maybe a thing of the past. The company is pleading with players, parents, and teams, to stop throwing these broken sticks in the garbage. Our motto is “Don’t throw it away, Keep it in play!”
If you don’t need to save money on the cost of sticks, that is great! You are doing well. But for the sake of the environment, have it repaired as a backup stick. If the environment is not your concern, then donate it to us. We can get it into the hands of a player that needs to save money. And therefore also keeping it out of the landfill.
Integral Hockey has evolved to become the most respected brand in this market. That reputation is the result of our locations doing an incredible job of promoting our brand in their respective territories. We have an amazing group of Franchisees and Distributors. They all have the same motivations and passion for reducing the cost of hockey. We also recycle a product with no other use or value.
Until Integral Hockey developed an extensive presence in North America, most broken sticks were going into the landfill. Many still are, but our locations are changing that. We are working in a mutually beneficial way to recycle, repair, and replay these expensive sticks. Integral Hockey works with junior and pro teams all over North America to bring these game played broken sticks back to life. We put them into the hands of players looking to save cash and still get a top of the line stick. To date, we have saved the hockey community in North America over 19 million dollars on sticks.
Integral Hockey’s Mission Statement is to see Integral Hockey as the most respected brand in this market, across Canada, and around the world, by providing a product and service with such value-added components, that minor league players to NHL franchises will benefit by their association with Integral Hockey.