OXFORD, Mich. (WXYZ) - Scott Hughes, a pro service representative with Vaughn who deals with Detroit, said their relationship with Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard started because of former goalie Chris Osgood.
"We actually had made some gear for Chris Osgood, and during one of the playoffs series Jimmy picked it up, [and] started trying the gear out and ended up liking the gear," said Hughes.
"It definitely kicked in when Ozzie's gear was sitting around in the locker room and he picked it up and tried it out."
Howard relishes the convenience of having Vaughn in the Red Wings backyard.
"If you need something switched up on your pads, you can usually get it back in the same day so it's one of the perks of having the company so close," said Howard, who's been using Vaughn gear since his playing days with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
"When something bothers you out there you want to be able to fix it quick so you can focus on stopping the puck instead of your equipment," Jonas Gustavsson, a Red Wings goalie, said. "To be able to get that service that quick is huge."
Here's something that's also huge about Howard wearing the Vaughn gear:
"It is very rare," said Paul Boyer, the Red Wings head equipment manager. "With a lot of production of hockey equipment, and the manufacturing of hockey equipment going overseas now, and made by an individual who doesn't play the game, you kind of see some of the nuisances and it doesn't work.
"There's flaws with it. It breaks down a little faster."
"Montreal has its set up up there, but a lot of product is not made in North America anymore," said Hughes. "To go to The Joe, pick something up, get it fixed and have it back there the same day it doesn't exist."
"We're very fortunate that you have the company so close," said Howard.
"I think you've got goalie people making goalie equipment out there, and the quality coming out of that shop is fantastic," said Boyer.
"It's something that we value that service end of our company and providing service to one of the top organizations in the NHL," said Hughes. "It's something you kind of dream of as a company."
"It's great because you get great service," said Howard.