World's Largest Hockey Store to Open its Doors

August 21, 2007

Toronto Maple Leafs attend grand opening at Vaughan Mills

VAUGHAN, ON, Aug. 21 /CNW/ – On Thursday, August 23, the puck will drop at Vaughan Mills for the grand opening of Pro Hockey Life, the largest hockey specialty store in Canada. With over 30,000 square feet of space, fans of Canada’s favourite pastime will have the largest selection of equipment and products to choose from.

“Pro Hockey Life is an exciting opportunity to change the hockey retailing market in Canada. We want to present consumers, whether male, female, professional or amateur, with all of the gear they could ever possibly need, all under one roof,” said Gilbert Rousseau, CEO and President of Pro
Hockey Life. “Consumers will no longer have to travel from one general sports outlet to another to find appropriate hockey equipment.”

The interactive, mega store will bring “shoppertainment” to the hockey consumer, separating itself from the current selection of hockey retailers. Players will be given the opportunity to test skates on Pro Hockey Life’s indoor “synthetic ice,” to get a sense and feel of the equipment before committing to a purchase.

Pro Hockey Life is also one of the few locations in Canada to feature the “RapidShot” training system where players have a chance to improve their shooting skills. With computerized technology, “RapidShot” offers customers feedback on every shot regarding accuracy, speed and reaction time.

Breadth and depth of product selection will truly be unmatched: for example, the store will carry over 14,000 sticks and 5,000 pairs of skates in stock, with over 1,000 different model/size combinations in both categories.

With equipment for players of all ages and levels, consumers will be able to find what they are looking for. Whether it’s skates, sticks, protective equipment, accessories or performance apparel – Pro Hockey Life will carry everything hockey from the industry’s leading manufacturers. Pro Hockey Life also recognizes the large and growing number of Canadian women dedicated to hockey and will stock products designed specifically for them. Rousseau said “but don’t look for women’s gear in a separate section; at Pro Hockey Life, we cater to one clientele: hockey enthusiasts – period.”

The launch of the hockey specialty retailing chain is the result of a partnership between Sports Gilbert Rousseau, a group of private equity investors led by Champlain Financial Corporation, as well as with Jack Steckel, a founding member of Golf Town and Capital Canada Limited, an independent investment banking firm.

“We believe Pro Hockey Life is the largest concept of its kind in the world and are very excited to be able to combine an interactive shopping experience with all of the equipment any hockey enthusiast could ever need,” said Jack Steckel, Capital Canada Limited.

The grand opening of Pro Hockey Life will also be attended by a few of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who will be signing autographs and may be testing their shots with the “RapidShot” system.

Alexei Ponikarovsky
Toronto Maple Leafs
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Brought by Nike Bauer Hockey
Carlo Colaiacovo
Toronto Maple Leafs
3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Brought by Nike Bauer Hockey

Alex Steen
Toronto Maple Leafs
5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Brought by CCM/RBK

Al Iafrate
Former Toronto Maple Leafs
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Brought by Warrior Hockey

About Sports Gilbert Rousseau

Sports Gilbert Rousseau was established 30 years ago in Montreal, Quebec. Since its inception, Sports Rousseau has established a reputation as the premiere hockey retailer in Canada. Pro Hockey Life at Vaughn Mills is the first of Sports Rousseau’s stores in their new hockey speciality chain, Pro Hockey Life.

About Vaughan Mills

Vaughan Mills is the first enclosed shopping centre built in Canada in more than 16 years, located just north of downtown Toronto at Hwy 400 and Rutherford Road. This 250 store mecca combines fashion, outlets, dining and entertainment. Many are the first of their kind in Canada, including; Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, NASCAR SpeedPark, Lucky Strike Lanes, Designer Depot, the world’s largest Tommy Hilfiger Outlet, Holt Renfrew Last Call and the First in Canada and Largest in the World Pro Hockey Life!

For further information: Julie Bellissimo at (416) 848–1462 or jbellissimo@national.ca

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