Hockey manufacturer Bauer is pivoting from on-ice equipment to producing face shields for medical workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Bauer hopes to ship out the shields to hospitals throughout Canada as early as next week, CEO Ed Kinnaly told ESPN's Emily Kaplan. By Wednesday morning, Bauer's facility in Quebec had taken orders for 100,000 units, and the company is looking to expand sales to the United States as well.
"In the U.S., honestly, the word is not out yet," Kinnaly said. "We've been doing outreach to various medical entities."
"We're also going to use our social channels to basically let the medical community know that we have the ability to produce these," he added.
The project is helping Bauer keep a portion of its workers employed during the pandemic. The face shields will be shipped on a first-come, first-served basis.
"Frankly I wish we could do more," Kinnaly said. "Any way we can help, we're going to try."
Bauer is one of the most popular hockey manufacturers in the world. The company's list of sponsored NHL players includes Patrick Kane, Jack Eichel, Henrik Lundqvist, and Nikita Kucherov.