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NHLPA, NHL still looking for a resolution on goalie equipment size

Jul 20, 2013, 12:10 AM EDT

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Six Getty Images

It might be the middle of July, but National Hockey League training camp somehow doesn’t seem that far away.

And so the ongoing issue of goaltending equipment reductions has once again been brought to the forefront of discussion.

The issue was talked about by the NHLPA at its meeting last week, according to a report from Kevin Woodley of InGoal Magazine.

Here is a snippet of what Woodley reported earlier this week. Read the full version here.

According to several sources close to the ongoing equipment talks, the NHL Players’ Association informally approved a reduction in the overall height of goalie pads at its meetings last week after an internal survey showed strong support for change. Unfortunately, that polling – and therefore the approval – wasn’t specific enough for the NHL, leaving questions about interpretation and implementation of the new pad height restrictions, while also failing to address the League’s request for smaller kneepads.

The debate about reducing the size of goaltender equipment has coincided with a reduction in goal scoring throughout the league.

In June, Globe and Mail hockey reporter James Mirtle and the Globe and Mail reported that shots in the NHL post-season have mostly been on the rise over the past couple of years, but that scoring has declined.

While it appears members of the players’ union are in favor reduction in overall height of goalie pads, the goaltenders themselves have their own concerns.

“I don’t have a problem with change, as long as the safety is the main focus,” New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist told InGoal Magazine.

“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.”

  1. stakex - Jul 20, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    I like Lundqvist and all, but lets face it… that last part was a little bit of BS. Goalies don’t want the size of their gear to change because it might have a negative impact on their stats, not because they fear it will somehow make them less safe. The problem right now, at least as the league sees it, is that their pads cover far more then just their body, and that’s what they want to reduce. In no way does that remove protection for a goalies person, unless you consider their ego part of their body.

    With that said, this will have no long term impact on goal scoring. None. Zip. Zero.

    Teams spend countless hours working on how to keep the puck out of their own net, and teams will find a way to do it even with smaller goalie gear. Blocking shots, and shooter control are just a couple things that will be a main focus and goalies will learn to adjust and be just as good in short order. No matter what change the NHL makes, teams will counter it and goal scoring will continue on the same overall trend.

    The one and only sure fire thing the NHL can do to increase scoring is to make the net bigger. Call it the nuclear option if you will and thankfully they have so far be unwilling to do it. If the current decline in scoring continues though, Id be surprised if there isn’t a renewed push for it over the next couple years.

    • barkar942 - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      Increase the nets or go back to wooden sticks. The composite sticks make it so Betty Boop can shoot a 95MPH slapshot! Take away the composites and use wood- reduce the MPH on shots and then you could go back to the goalie equipment of the 1980s.
      We all know that they are not going back to wooden sticks, so make the goals 7′ wide x 5′ high and keep the goalie equipment where it is at. Keeps the goalies safe and increases scoring all in one fell swoop.

  2. tdrusher225 - Jul 20, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    The fact that goalies are allowed to cover 85% of the net while in nearly every angle and postition is ridiculous. Please let this happen, the game could use it.

  3. helloname01 - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    Has anyone considered the possibility that today’s forwards just suck massive donkey balls?

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:36 AM

      Or that the average defenseman is 6’4… not 5’11 like in the 1980’s

  4. howintensive - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    What they really need to do is something about that delay of game/ puck over glass rule. It’s holding the game back.

    • habssuck - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      What?? How is making the game slower and not giving a pp “holding it back”?

    • barkar942 - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      Look- I am old. I watched the GAG line play for the Rangers as a kid.
      There is nothing worse than seeing your team get some offensive pressure going and then watch a defenseman or a goalie get the puck and aim it to row 20 on the sides of the rink. Kills the flow of the game and sometimes changed the flow of games.
      These guys are pros. Most of them can shoot an apple off of Bettman’s head with their shot. Keep the puck in play and keep the rule.

  5. ansleyiu - Jul 20, 2013 at 3:31 AM

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  6. matt14gg - Jul 20, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    I was a goalie and I am all for reducing the size of the equipment. This is NOT about protection. The goalies are well protected and you don’t need to protect anything other than the normal size of the body. This is about giving some of the net back to the shooters and forcing goalies to be athletic (the way the game was MEANT TO BE) and not just stone walls like many of them are now. This needs to happen and as soon as it does the star goalies will be the guys that actually have some athletic ability as opposed to just being big.

    As I have said before, as soon as the rule change finally happens guys like Corey Crawford and Pekka Rinne are on the clock. Crawford will be out of the league in two years. Whereas the Bruins were very comfortable giving Tuukka Rask a long term deal cuz they know his equipment won’t change and he will have no adjustment to worry about.

    • mathieug79 - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      Glad to see you still think Corey Crawford is underated! He’ll prove you wrong once again!, As for Pekka Rinne he’s 6’5″ and he’s probably one of the most athletic goalies in the league, this just how clueless you are!

  7. tlow97 - Jul 20, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    The refs could start calling obstruction like they did in 2005-06. I assume it’s now the elephant in the rulebook room…

  8. titansbro - Jul 20, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Look at goalie lads 20-30 years ago & look at today’s. It’s gotten ridiculous. Of course the goalies will have something to say, it will have a negative impact on their stats. Just ignore them.

  9. 950003cups - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Interesting they mention oversized goalie equipment, and post a picture of Lundqvist. Couldn’t agree more.

    • barkar942 - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Yeah- Marty is just fat so he doesn’t need as much padding!
      (OOOH! Need some ice for that BURN?????)
      Sorry, just have to bust a devils fan. What town in Jersey you in? I am in Toms River.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:50 AM

        I’m sure it doesn’t burn as much as one cup in 70+ plus years …

      • barkar942 - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        Touche! LOL!

  10. aaawall91 - Jul 21, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Also goalie, agreed leg pad size can come down, not by much though either way though unless the goal is to see every game with teams in double digits. And if that’s the goal why not make the net bigger and have goalie equipment relative to body part sizes. not great for size-ly disadvantaged people, but that’s life.

  11. andyreidisfat - Jul 21, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Size of goalie equipment or even the goal itself is not the problem with scoring. The real reason is money. Its clear watching these same players playing in international games that skill or scoring ability is not problem. The problem is lack of room on the ice. The players are bigger stronger and faster now. The nhl rink is just to small. Fix that and goalies can keep their equipment and scoring rise very quickly

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