Originally Posted by kyle00
Definitely do this. And take out your insole after skating and you'll see moisture on the bottom of it and on the footbed of your skate. Take a towel and dry this up immediately after skating, it'll help prevent your rivets rusting out. I take my insoles of the skate out, and put a fan on my gear for 24 hours, and then let everything air dry till i play again. Always unpack your gear from your bag and lay it out to dry.
+1 Get a hockey locker! I love that thing. All your stuff's right there, it takes up minimal space and your stuff dries quickly.
Unfortunately, it's been so long since I played - ankle injury took me out for months and I went back for part of a season, but had lost a step.
On the gear issue, buy at least midline gear. I pretty much bought one step under the top-of-the-line across the board. IIRC, I have a Bauer 5000 helmet with a ZLeader polycarbonate shield/metal cage, Easton shoulder pads, CCM pants (probably one of the best purchases I made), JOFA elbow pads, Bauer gloves, Bauer (top-of-the-line) shin guards, and Bauer Vapor skates(forget which ones). I have a set of Mission inlines for roller.
Graf skates are really good, but when I was in the market, they were pretty pricy. If you can afford them and they fit you best, get them, though. Even though the equipment won't make you a better player, skimping on it will only make getting hurt that much more likely.