Editor's Note: Like many of the other sites here at SB Nation, MLX Skates provided The Copper & Blue with a complementary pair of MLX skates in order to review them. To make sure that the review is honest and forthright, we gave those skates to a friend of the site and told him to give us his honest, no-bull opinion.
When Mario Lemieux skated onto the ice at The Consol Center in his MLX Skates, he brought MLX into the North American spotlight for the first time. Though MLX already had Sergei Gonchar, Dustin Byfuglien, and Paul Gaustad in their sponsored player stable, none of them have the marketing cache of Mario Lemieux.
MLX's story isn't particularly uncommon: a high-level athlete begins to train other athletes and sees a gulf in process, method, equipment or technology and steps in with an idea or product to fix it. In this case, speed skater David Cruikshank saw a gulf in method, equipment and technology when training NHL skaters and developed his own skate to overcome the issue. One of the biggest issues he sought to overcome was fit, and set out to create a form-fitting boot for each player and enlisted Scott Van Horne, a speed skate designer, to build the better boot which would become the basis of MLX Men's Hockey Skates.
The result is a boot that a player can bake at home, adjust on the fly, and alter with custom fit inserts to maximize comfort and fit. Lemieux came aboard both as an investor and began to endorse the skate shortly thereafter. Four-time Olympian Andy Gabel came aboard as well. Cruikshank now has a small but growing stable of professional players endorsing the skate, as well as a new sponsorship deal with the NCAA's ECAC Conference.
MLX continues to look for high-profile reviews and apparently a bunch of stat-geeks in their underwear in mom's basement qualify as a high-profile review. The skates arrived last week and we made the hand off to our rec-league playing friend. We're giving him a few weeks on the skates and then we'll publish our review of the skates.