MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Andy Scoggins has a knack for turning a cold hunk of steel into a piece of art that can bring thousands to their feet. He does so from his small shop in Morrisville.
“We’re really different in the aspect that we set up steel for NHL teams,” Scoggins said.
Scoggins makes hockey blades for players around the NHL at his business, Pro Skate Balance. Each player has a profile or hollow unique to his skill set. Scoggins then sets up the blade to fit the player.
“What that does is it allows that skater to maximize each and every stride,” Scoggins said.
Players tend to be very particular when it comes to their skates.
“It’s their livelihood,” said Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour. “When you’re at this level, every little edge, every little nick you feel, it can throw you off. And if it throws you off, that’s the difference.”
For that reason, Scoggins doesn’t use just any steel.
“Think of high end chef knives. It’s the same steel,” Scoggins said.
Still, even good steel can break. And when it does, it’s important to get the player back on the ice as fast as possible.
“Everyone has the quick-release holders so you can pop the steel out really quick,” Scoggins said. “They can literally snap it out and snap it back in, and a guy doesn’t miss a shift.”
In years past, he would have had to go back to the locker room. Times have changed, and Scoggins is proud to be a part of the new technology driving the game.
“We were watching the game the next day,” Scoggins said. “I pointed at my fiancée and said, ‘Hey, does that name look familiar?’ And she said, ‘Yeah, why?’ And I was, ‘Because it was on our kitchen table last night.”
From the kitchen table to Sidney Crosby’s feet, an innovator in the Triangle is quietly making a difference.
“The players probably don’t know us from Sam, and that’s fine,” Scoggins said. “I’d rather see the work than get the accolades for it.”