PHILADELPHIA - There comes a time when every athlete
has to figure out what he's going to do when his playing days are over.
Flyers captain Keith Primeau, who is no dummy, started thinking about life after hockey a few years ago and decided he
wanted to own a sporting-goods business.
Fury Hockey is Primeau's answer to life after hockey, and the business has already been launched. The company manufactures
composite sticks, gloves, pants, underwear, elbow pads, stick bags and various accessories.
"We started the business a year and a half ago, and now we're getting into this area and we're doing tremendous," Primeau
Primeau is majority owner among four principal investors in the Ontario-based company, which produces a line of 55 products
that he describes as high end yet affordable and designed to compete with Bauer, Sher-Wood and other hockey manufacturers.
Last season, Primeau and several teammates began using his Fury sticks.
"Sami Kapanen wears our gloves and uses our stick, as do I," Primeau said. "Todd Fedoruk wears our gloves, and my brother
Wayne and Alex Korolyuk use the sticks in San Jose."
Although the NHL lockout soon will be costing him salary, there has been an unexpected benefit: Primeau has considerable
time to devote to his business.
"I've been going out and doing sales in the (Philadelphia) area and some marketing," he said.
On Thursday, Primeau left for Toronto to join some business partners on a whirlwind tour of Ontario to spread the word
about Fury products.
"We're doing nine appearances in three days, and that covers a lot of miles," he said. "There are really no positives about
not playing hockey right now, but this has given me time to get my company some exposure. And guys wearing and using the equipment
is far better than having to drum up sales."
Fury products are available at Gear Zone, Sherer Hockey, and the pro shop at Medford Ice Rink. Several other stores in
Canada and throughout the United States carry the products.
Primeau expects Fury to expand into more stores in the coming months. Products can be ordered online at www.furyhockey.ca. Even though the Web site is still undergoing construction, there is a full line of products to view.
"I absolutely see this as a future business for me when I am done playing," Primeau said.
And a present business as well.