Over at In Goal Magazine (H/T Puck Daddy), Kevin Woodley reports that goaltenders across the NHL are still awaiting an agreement between the NHL and NHLPA on equipment size reductions for this upcoming season, specifically the height of the leg pads.
Woodley says the main disagreement seems to be the NHL wants to limit the length of the pads above the knee, while the NHLPA just wants a standard height for the entire pad.
With summer skates just around the corner, many goaltenders, including Henrik Lundqvist, are starting to get concerned that they won't have appropriate time to adjust to the new pads...
“If they change it, as long as I have the new gear early August it should be fine.”
Another worry Lundqvist has is safety. With players shooting harder than ever, a reduction in pad size could leave him vulernable to injury...
“I don’t have a problem with change, as long as the safety is the main focus. You might be able to cut a few things but we are getting close to how much you can push it. Now because of the changes I’m getting hit in places where in the past I was protected. You have to remember that the game is so much faster now, and the players shoot the puck harder and with a quicker release because of the new sticks.”
With both sides not expected to meet again on this issue until next week, it's likely a decision won't be finalized until at least early August, so Marty Biron has come up with a compromise he hopes will be implemented...
“I think we are going deep in the summer which doesn’t leave much time to work on gear especially knee pads. Would they be willing to put in the new changes in-season? Let’s say by New Year all goalies would have to be in legal gear? That would give us time to work on gear and practice with it on an every day basis.”
...i am 100% for the reduction of goaltender equipment. Even with the size decrease three years ago, the netminders are still way too big in my opinion. It's very difficult to score when Lundqvist and Co. are taking up 95% of the net. Remember how ridiculously huge Garth Snow's shoulder pads were?...
...if the NHL wants to increase scoring, they don't need to increase the size of the net, just decrease the size of the goaltending equipment. Scoring was at an all-time high in the 80s. I mean look at Vanbiesbrouck in this pic. It doesn't even look like he's wearing arm pads or a chest protector...
...now having said that, I played goalie from age 8 to 18 and I can't tell you how many times I took a puck to the top of the knee because when I went down into the butterfly position my pads weren't long enough to cover my knees. And let me tell you, it effn' hurts. So I do agree with Lundqvist that the goaltender's safety has to be first and foremost. While the pads do need to be shortened it shouldn't expose them to possible injury.
...with how long it took the NHL and NHLPA to agree on the new CBA, it wouldn't shock me if the goaltenders didn't find out about the new dimensions until the end of training camp. So for goodness sake I hope they give these guys ample time to get used to the new equipment. I think Biron was spot on with his idea.
And if Lundqvist and Biron don't feel comfortable with their new equipment before the season starts, I heard Carlos Danger is still a free agent (via The New Yorker)...
With today's tech I'm sue they could design smaller equip and still have safety for the player. You can also keep what you have and open the net 6 inches, that could be even more interesting in a game
Safety first, I'm sure they will respect that. Goalie equipment can be more compact and still safe. Just reduce the width while keeping equivalent body protection in place. Seems simple enough to me.
So how healthy will beezer be when chara launches a 100 mph slapper with his old equipment? We dont need the days of garth snow back, but dont make goalie equipment the main reason why scoring is down. To do so is to scape goat goalies. Players are blocking shots left right and center and shots are not getting through. Anyone calling for a reduction in player equipment so they dont block shots? Didnt think so.
If you want to increase scoring ( and more importantly, scoring chances), there are a variety of different ways to do so, and not just reduce goalie equipment. Respect goaltending or just put up the shooter tutor and have scores like basketball.
If you want to increase goal scoring, all you gotta say to the goalies is "Cup or helmet...your choice"
You just wrote an interesting post...and then gave us the brilliance of the Weiner man in his goalie gear. How can I possibly focus on the wisdom of Henrik and Marty with that picture staring at me!? :)
I didn't play hockey, but I was a lacrosse goalie and getting nailed in the knee at high speeds is not recommended. I cannot imagine the pain from a puck at this level of play. While greater scoring is great for the game, I hope goalie safety is first and foremost.
I recall a Wayne Gretzky interview some years after his retirement and they asked him if anybody would ever break his records. Gretzky said in no uncertain terms: "not until they decrease the size of the goalie pads." I'm glad they're coming around to it, but c'mon people, just get it done already. On the other hand, I guess another thing that could increase scoring, at least for this year, is to have all the goalies struggling with the adjustment (but that would be kind of unfortunate).
Forget how ridiculously big Garth Snow's shoulder pads were (for the record, there is a picture online tagging one shoulder as named Pedro, and one as George) look at how ridiculously small the rest of him is - he looks like a child in those leg pads. Its like a child wearing his little brothers pants, but his father's circa 1980's suit jacket with massive amounts of shoulder padding
I dont see why they cant just reduce the size of the pad and change the shape at the top of the pad to cover the top of the knees when in the butterfly so they dont loose the protection aspect of it
@wwwc9 Equipment can be smaller and still safe. I'm not saying shrinking goalie equipment is the only answer, but it's a lot more practical than handing out penalties for trying to block shots or increasing the size of the goal.
Plus, I'm pretty sure goalies such as Beezer, Roy and Fuhr did just fine with the smaller equipment in that high scoring era.
Actually, the smaller equipment will weed out some of the bad goaltenders in the league who get by because of the size of the equipment.
@Wallace1 lol that dude is probably the dumbest person alive
@selfwinding I played lacrosse goalie as well. Actually still do in a 30 and over league on Long Island. Have the bruises to prove it.
@hankthetank30 You're looking for the NHL and NHLPA to come up with a reasonable and timely compromise? LOL!!!!!!
@wwwc9 And the last time I checked there was this guy who played in the 80s and 90s named Al Iafrate. I think he had a pretty good shot and those goalies came out just fine.
@slogan4000 Small world! I am indeed
I grew up with your dad in Demarest. I was there In closter. I scored the tying goal in the last game. Score one for the old guys!