The NHL has decided once again to crack down on goaltender equipment. I for one don’t mind the evolution of goalie equipment as long as it is used to protect the goalie. But Currently the majority of goalie equipment is there to stop the puck and not to protect the goalie. The goalies chest protector is a great example of this. The flaps on the shoulder’s for most chest protectors are designed to go up when a goalie goes down in the butterfly, creating less room for the players to shoot high when the goalies go down. The NHL will now tack down those shoulder flaps to allow protection but not adding any puck stopping ability to the goalie.
Now the NHL is not only changing the chest protector but also changing the pads to allow less room for error when going down to protect the five hole. They announced that the goalies are to wear contoured knee pads instead of the block like knee pads currently used. Also they are changing the thickness of the inner knee flap of the goalie pad from a condensed 2 1/2 inches, to a non condensed 2 1/2 inches. Another change to the lower half of the goalies equipment is the calf protector on the pads. They are no longer allowed to stick out of the pad but rather be tucked into the pads. This will substantially reduce the room for error when they go down late in the butterfly. Usually when a goalie drops down into the butterfly it is the calf protector to hit the ice first rather than the pad, meaning if you react late, sometimes the calf protector would do the stopping and not the pads.
The last Change is a huge one and is expected to be implemented next year, when all equipment will be proportionate to the height and weight of a goalie. So a Shorter goalie like Manny Legace who is 5’10” will wear smaller equipment than Carey Price who is 6’3″. Currently they wear the same size equipment.
Hopefully this will make for more goals because in the end that is what the NHL wants. To me though this will bring back some athleticism to the goaltender position making for more out of this world saves.
The Schwab has spoken!!!