Koho (company)

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Koho
Industry Ice hockey equipment, Rollerblades
Products Hockey Skates, Hockey sticks, Hockey helmets, etc

Koho is a brand of ice hockey equipment that originated from Finland. Currently, Koho equipment is manufactured by The Hockey Company (parent company of CCM, now owned by Reebok). Koho is especially known for its goaltending equipment. The main endorsees, instrumental to marketing the brand in the late 90s and early 2000s included Patrick Roy, Felix Potvin, Jocelyn Thibault, Tommy Salo, Mathieu Garon, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, and Roberto Luongo. Although Koho had the support of high-profile endorsees such as Jaromir Jagr, the player equipment lines were comparatively unsuccessful. The brand name is currently owned by MonkeySports, which operates GoalieMonkey.com and Hockeymonkey.com. They are the exclusive retailer of the brand.

Beginning in the early 90s, later versions of Koho goal equipment were designed by goalie equipment guru Michel Lefebvre, who started with the 530 series, which were based on the pad which was sold previously under the Lefebvre brand. Lefebrve, contracted now to develop pads to be sold exclusively through the Koho brand, designed the 560, 570, 580, and 590 series. Beginning with the 560 series, Koho pads were designed exclusively by Lefebvre, and the equipment line was designed for the butterfly style of play. The 590 was the last pad that Patrick Roy wore, during the 2002-03 season.

During the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, the original plan was to have Roberto Luongo premiere the Koho 600 pad. However, as a result of the unexpected purchase of The Hockey Company by Reebok, Luongo appeared in the World Cup wearing 590s. When The Hockey Company was purchased by Reebok, the Koho name was momentarily dropped and replaced by Reebok, with the intent of eventually phasing out the Koho name from its main product line. The Hockey Company did so previously with the Heaton brand, and would eventually do the same with the CCM goalie brand. Koho was then delegated to a price-point street hockey goalie equipment set, featuring the graphic of the 570. However, on Reebok's first goalie equipment lines, including the RBK Premier, and RBK Premier 2, a small tag with the Koho by Lefebvre logo remained, as the names Koho and Lefebvre still had (and continue to have) residual market value.

Initially, Rbk was used for the pro and intermediate pro lines of equipment, while Reebok was reserved for all other lines (senior, junior, youth). When Reebok discontinued the use of Rbk in 2008, the Rbk branding was dropped from the hockey equipment as well.

When the NHL resumed play in the 2005-06 season following the lockout, only one goaltender, Maxime Ouellet of the Vancouver Canucks was using Koho equipment. Because the Koho name had been dropped by the Hockey Company, which consequently had not paid the NHL the appropriate licensing fees, the Koho name was not permitted to appear in a game or in any league or team media or promotional materials. Nonetheless, the Koho name remained on Ouellet's pads, which was an oversight by the league.

At the beginning of the 2007-08 season, Jonas Hiller of the Anaheim Ducks appeared in preseason games in 580 leg pads, which were white and blue, matching the colors of his previous team, HC Davos. The Koho name had actually already been removed from Hiller's pads prior to the 2006 IIHF World Championships. By the start of the regular season, Hiller was wearing 580s in colors matching the Ducks uniform. However, about halfway through the season, the logos were removed from his pads.

In 2008, GoalieMonkey.com managed to bring back the Koho name to the retail market at least, producing a set with the name "Koho 700." The set included pads, blocker, glove, chest protector and a composite goal stick. None of these products were actually designed by Lefebvre, however. They were a pad designed for the hybrid goaltender, but nevertheless feel very similar to the Lefebvre Koho lines, minus the traditional shin rolls, which were never a feature of Lefebvre's design.

Meanwhile, Hiller began the 2008-09 season with 580s with no Koho logos. About halfway through the season, however, Hiller switched to a nearly identical pair of leg pads, this time featuring the Koho logos. This indicated that Monkey Sports, Inc. had successfully negotiated the licensing rights with the NHL, marking Koho's official return to the NHL. In 2009, rumors circulated that a new Koho pad, dubbed the "900" series, would be produced, in conjunction with Michel Lefebvre. At the start of the 2009-10 season, Hiller began play in his trademark 580s, along with a blocker and catching glove with custom Koho graphics, thus giving credence to earlier rumors of a new Koho pad. It was later revealed there was a new pad to match his blocker and catching glove but since Hiller had no time to break them in after receiving them after training camp, he stuck with his signature 580s. Hiller debuted the Koho 588 pad in the beginning of the 2010-11 season.

Pro Level Goalie Equipment Lines[edit]

Koko 700 CA Senior Pro chest and arm protector
Koho GB700 Senior Pro blocker
Koho GM700 Senior Pro trapper

Currently in use[edit]

  • 588 RPM (Lefebvre manufactured, Revolution Pro Model made specifically for Jonas Hiller)
  • 588 (identical to the 588 RPM, except it is manufactured overseas)
  • 586 (price point pad)

No longer available for sale[edit]

  • 700 (manufactured exclusively for the retail market)
  • 590 (Patrick Roy's third and final Koho pad designed by Lefebvre)
  • 585 (unofficially designates 590 pad with the 580 graphic)
  • 580 (a pad popularized by NHL stars like Luongo and Giguere)
  • 570 (Patrick Roy's second Koho pad designed by Lefebvre)
  • 565 (designates 560 pads that were manufactured at the CCM factory, to accommodate the unprecedented demand of the 560)
  • 560 (Patrick Roy's first Koho pad designed by Lefebvre)
  • 550 (Felix Potvin's second exclusive Koho pad)
  • 540 (a price-point pro level pad)
  • 530 (Lefebrve's first "official" Koho pad)
  • 520 (identical to the 510, with a Shark graphic)
  • 510 (Felix Potvin's first exclusive Koho pad)
  • 500 (worn by Patrick Roy from the 1995-96 to the 1997-98 seasons)
  • Revolution (worn by Patrick Roy from the 1992-93 to the 1994-95 seasons)

NHL & International Goaltenders who currently use KOHO[edit]

Starting Goaltenders who used KOHO in the NHL[edit]

Other Goaltenders who used KOHO in the NHL[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]