Meet CCM’s Skate Product Manager: J.S. Belanger


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work for one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hockey equipment, or work behind-the-scenes to help create the next generation of products that millions of players will use on a daily basis?We certainly have, and we wanted to find out more. So Hockey World Blog sat down with J.S. Belanger, Skate Product Manager for CCM Hockey, to learn more about what he does behind the scenes and how he got into the hockey gear business. Here’s what he had to say:

“Skate Product Manager” sounds like a pretty awesome job—how did you get the position? What type of education/background do you have that helped you land that role?

Thanks! It has been an awesome ride. Since the age of 12, when I discovered CCM’s head office was in my hometown, I knew I wanted to work here someday. I completed my university degree in Marketing, and then worked six years in the sports industry, growing in different marketing roles. Also during this time, I completed my Master’s degree (MBA) at the John Molson School of Business in Montreal, attending evening classes after work. Basically, I had no life for three years, but soon after I obtained my diploma, I was made aware of the opening at CCM for the Skate Product Manager position and got the job, so we can say it was all worth it.

What all does your role entail?

It’s a wide role that requires me to juggle between many skate lines every day. As an example, most of my year so far has consisted of analyzing the market’s feedback from our 2015 lines (JetSpeed and RibCor), preparing the launch of the 2016 line (Super Tacks), as well as finalizing product specs for the 2017 lines and launching projects for the 2018 lines. So on any day, I can be working on any product line spanning over four years.

As Skate Product Manager, what’s the thought process and development cycle that goes into designing a new/updated skate? In which areas are you mostly heavily involved in that process?

The development cycle usually starts with the objective of bringing a new solution to hockey players. Throughout the whole process, I represent the hockey player’s voice. The engineers on the skate team rely on me to give them guidance on what hockey players need from their skates. So I spend a lot of time with hockey players at every level to better understand what they want and need from their skates. As an example, with the Super Tacks skate, the objective was to find a new way to increase skating performance, because players felt like skates had “peaked” over the last few years. We then dug into the ways we can help improve their skating performance and started building prototypes to validate some ideas (such as the one-piece boot frame). Once we started seeing trends, we built on our prototypes to move the project forward and make sure that the skate would deliver on every aspect a hockey player expects, and more. That requires a lot of testing, which is why it takes time before a skate is launched in stores.

What’s your favorite part of your job? Least favorite?

My favorite part of the job is walking into a rink anywhere in the world and seeing more and more kids picking CCM skates. Same goes with seeing the product that we developed in our offices being worn on television by Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, John Tavares, Matt Duchene, Brent Burns, and the list goes on. CCM seems to be on an incredible roll when it comes to skates, and it feels very rewarding to not only see players at the highest level recognizing that, but also players at all local rinks.

On the other hand, my least favorite part of the job is when I visit teams or schools with the Stick Product Manager, Catherine Ward, who has won two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada. Everyone wants to take a picture with her and nobody wants to take one with me. It’s a very sad moment for me.

What kind of hockey equipment do you use personally (skates, gloves, stick, helmet, etc.)?

I recently managed to convince Catherine to let me try the RBZ Revolution stick. That stick is unbelievable and a true testament to how CCM is pushing innovation in hockey.

As for the rest of my equipment, I definitely feel great in the QuickLite protective equipment. Those gloves are just incredible. And I just started wearing new CCM FitLite 3DS helmet which is my newest piece of equipment. No surprise, all CCM.

One comment

  1. Hi J.S Belanger sir.
    Have a quick question. I bought the jetspeeds just over a year ago. My previous skates were the ccm 1152. Amazing skates. One thing that is making it hard for me to get use to my new skates is that in 2nd or 3rd period they don’t suck to my feet like the old ones do cause of the material on the inside like the 1152. I just find myself trying to adjust my skates between periods to tighten them so they would stick to my heels. Is there anything I could put on the inside of the boot to help them stop slipping of the heels? And yes I know the 1152 are over 20yrs old but I’m also older player as well. If you need a more understanding of my concern you can contact me at my email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *