The “Goalie Guru” Passes Away

Brian Heaton who designed and manufacturered some of the best goalie gear in the last twenty years passed away earlier this week. In the ’80’s, the “Goalie Guru” worked for Cooper and led them to the top of the goalie gear market (Cooper became Bauer in the early ’90’s). In the ’90’s he was again at the top of the goalie gear world with Brians and Heaton. Most of NHL goalies during those years wore his pads.

Heaton built a worldwide reputation in hockey by offering a customized service and design to NHL goaltenders.

Among the innovations Heaton has been credited with included introducing coloured equipment, using new man-made materials and coming up with several flap and safety designs that allowed goalies to enjoy superior protection in lighter equipment.

In 1983, he launched his own business with partner Sonny Stomp from a small sports shop in Kingsville.

Having established himself with NHL goalies through his equipment design work with Cooper, Heaton realized there was a niche for more customized service and high-end goalie equipment.

Over the years Heaton’s designs have been worn by netminders including Roy, Sean Burke and Mike Richter.

Heaton showed his innovative side in solving a health issue for Roy.

Roy was complaining he was allergic to leather, which caused him great discomfort on his hands from wearing his goalie gloves. Heaton solved the problem by designing Roy a set of gloves made out of synthetic materials.

Brian is survived by his wife of 28 years, Sally, and his four kids.

Rest in peace Brian.


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