The National Hockey League is attempting to fight the issue of growing goalie equipment size. Michael Traikos of the National Post reports Kay Whitmore, a former NHL goalie turned equipment inspector, has been attempting to make equipment more equal and proportional to a goalies body type, and not be oversized and droopy like the current versions.
Prototypes have been made. Next year we'll see slim-fitting goalies actually look their size in net. No, seriously. https://t.co/JjHwefr6a4
— Michael Traikos (@Michael_Traikos) March 12, 2016
A major argument for the change is the decline in goals in the NHL compared to other eras, as equipment has gotten bigger in recent years.
Goalies seem to be on board with the proposed change.
“I love that. I love that idea,” Lehner said. “It’s just not consistent through the league. A lot of goalies have way-too-big equipment on. They can fit four sets of arms in one sleeve of the chest protector. I know guys in this league who wear player pants underneath their goalie pants. That’s how big their pants are.
“I think we should all be on the same playing field, doing the same thing, and let the talent win out,” Cory Schneider, who is on the NHL-NHLPA competition committee, told Traikos.
Whitmore reportedly tested new equipment on some NHL goalies at the All-Star game, and it was widely rejected due to not being small enough. Traikos said the biggest problem in getting new equipment shaped to players’ bodies is each goalie would have to be individually measured and then you’d have to convince manufacturers to design padding that protects goalies instead of solely focusing on giving them an edge on the ice.
Whitmore is continuing to measure goalies and uses a contour gage to make intricate molds and hopes to complete his measurements in the next two weeks. Goalies are on board with Whitmore’s idea and he hopes to have new, better-fitting equipment ready next season.
Will the changes work? It’s impossible to know, but at the very least, Whitmore and the NHL are attempting to make goalies happy and fix a perceived problem in the league.