After six seasons of managing equipment for the St. Louis Blues, Chad O’Neil is sharing his passion for hockey by putting kids and their parents back on their blades.
The Belleville native puts his heart into repairs at his new skate sharpening and equipment repair shop on the east side of his hometown. The retail shop offers custom hockey gear, too.
Skatetech, located at 1432 E. Main St. in Belleville, recently opened and it has quickly become a destination for college players, local league members, and youth athletes.
“We just want to help people become better players,” O’Neil said. “We want them to be able to skate better, by offering a better quality of sharpening and a better quality of repairs and fitting.”
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O’Neil says his customers benefit from the time he spent as an assistant equipment manager for the National Hockey League. He offers the same services and equipment brands the pros expect.
O’Neil played for the Southern Illinois Icehawks and Belleville East High School before starting his career as an equipment manager.
Images from his six seasons with the Blues are displayed in the store along with other memorable hockey moments he’s experienced through the years.
“It’s just a very close group of people,” O’Neil said. “And a lot of good people at that.”
In the future, O’Neil says he hopes the store will be able to expand into a bigger space. For more information and store hours, visit Skatetech’s Facebook page.