The Curious Case of Auston Matthews and the CCM FT Ghost Hockey Stick

By Matt Stathopoulos


The Curious Case of Auston Matthews and the CCM FT Ghost Hockey Stick
The CCM FT Ghost is a sleek, all-black hockey stick released last fall ahead of the 2023-24 NHL season.

When Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews was spotted using the Ghost graphic during training camp, it sparked intrigue among equipment enthusiasts, as new stick releases typically do. The all-black look was a bit of a departure from traditional CCM designs, prompting questions about its significance.

Matthews, renowned for his exceptional skills and influence both on and off the ice, has been a CCM ambassador for years. His use of the hockey stick generated considerable buzz within the gear community, as fans and players alike eagerly awaited further details about its features and performance.

Despite Matthews’ new stick choice, however, there has been some confusion with the apparent lack of adoption of the FT Ghost by other NHL players. Typically, when a prominent player such as Matthews embraces a new piece of equipment, others will follow suit. Yet, as the current NHL season has progressed, Matthews remains the only player in the league to be advertising the new stick.

The absence of widespread adoption has raised a few questions. Mainly, why aren’t more players using it? It is understood that many players in the NHL are not using the actual builds of the sticks that their graphics may indicate. Such is the case with Matthews, as it is believed his stick is that of a Ribcor Trigger build and wrapped with the graphics of an FT Ghost. Still, though, at the very least, why isn’t this also the case with other CCM users across the league?

When the new Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) began play in early January, it was refreshing to see first overall pick, Taylor Heise, using the FT Ghost. She is going to be a star in the league and is off to a great start with Minnesota. At the same time, though, she also is the only player in the women’s ranks to be seen with the new stick.

As the NHL season has progressed into February, the lack of new developments with the FT Ghost has deepened the intrigue surrounding its status in the hockey world. It is a stick available for retail purchase and promoted by elite players such as Matthews and Heise. For a product being sold on the retail market, one would imagine it makes sense to have that product represented by at least a handful of different NHL and PWHL players. 

Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby are two obvious names of CCM users that come to mind. However, both have shown tendencies to continue using older models/older graphic sticks, so they probably are not the best examples. Regardless, there are several others who could well represent the FT Ghost.

Interestingly, we also haven’t noticed a presence of the stick in the American Hockey League at all. Perhaps it is part of a strategy to keep the Ghost as an “Auston Matthews & Taylor Heise Only” stick. Matthews is a superstar in arguably the largest hockey market in the world, while Heise is one of the main faces of an upstart professional women’s league. This could be enough reason to dedicate an exclusive stick to such figures with a high ranking. After all, CCM has labeled the FT Ghost as a limited-edition stick.

As the equipment world eagerly awaits further developments, one thing remains clear: The mystery of the FT Ghost is far from solved, leaving fans and players alike wondering if another will be seen by season’s end.

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