Pro Laces has become a must
The regional product Pro Laces continues to gain followers among goalkeepers around the world. The attachment that connects the leg to the skate designed by Michel Ratthé is all the rage and has even reached the biggest spheres with the National Hockey League. In the past year, no less than 7,000 copies have been sold worldwide.
“At first, I was happy if I made about 300 a year,” puts the designer in context.
Pekka Rinne is one of the NHL goaltenders to use the Pro Laces system.
The idea came to him one evening and, during the night, he developed the whole functioning of the system which works with elastic bands, which replace the traditional lace, and which is made entirely in the region. The next day, he made a prototype which he himself tested with the help of some acquaintances. Word of mouth quickly did its work locally, but it was really thanks to social networks that it was able to take its place on the market.
“As soon as I started to publish photos, it was there that opened the doors of the whole planet. I made no announcements and ran after no one. It developed on its own by having a good product with publications. The retailers are the ones who approached me in all of this, ”says Michel Ratthé, who, after four years of work, finally obtained his patent last year for a period of 20 years.
The Pro Laces attachment system, developed by Chicoutimien Michel Ratthé, has been very successful with goalkeepers.
“It helped me, but the big deal that helped me consolidate all of this was the agreement with the goalkeeper equipment manufacturer Lefebvre,” announced the manager of the Entrepôt du hockey de Chicoutimi.
“When I signed this agreement, the product exploded. On my website, I even sell them in Australia! “, He announced proudly, also mentioning being present in the United States, in particular thanks to a partnership with a Pure Hockey chain.
With the Pro Laces system, an elastic band replaces the lace to connect the leg warmer to the skate.
“(The agreement) gave credibility to the product. He also has access to all the pros, ”says Michel Ratthé, whose product is currently found in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with around 60% of goalies using it, in the American League, in several League organizations. national as well as in Europe. Recently, the two goalkeepers of the Nashville Predators, Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros, themselves took the steps to obtain the part which is now part of their equipment.
Michel Ratthé does not keep an accurate register, but goalkeepers from several other NHL organizations use it like the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks, Colorado Avalanche, Golden Knights from Vegas, the Detroit Red Wings and the Boston Bruins.
Currently, at the World Junior Hockey Championship, the first Russian goalkeeper Yaroslav Askarov uses the Pro Laces, as does the Saguenéen Olivier Rodrigue, third goalkeeper of the Canadian team. Michel Ratthé mentions being in development for other accessories, again in partnership with the manufacturer Lefebvre.