Jump to content
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Are More Restrictions Coming to Goaltenders?

It's a Canadian Game


blog-0383131001363823332.jpgOn Wednesday March 20th, the NHL held meetings in Toronto to discuss among many things the lack of goals in the NHL this year. The number one reason many believe this problem exists is because of the size of both goaltender’s equipment and the size of the nets.

The NHL is contemplating either reducing the size of goaltender’s equipment or to increase the size of the NHL nets. Goal scoring has always been viewed as an issue in hockey as it seems the NHL believes more goal scoring will please the fans. However, Mississauga Steelheads defenseman Jacob Graves believes from what he has seen playing in the OHL, the size of goaltender’s pads and nets is not a problem.

“I feel the nets are fine the way they are.” Jacobs adds, “The goals are still coming so there is no need to change anything really, I don't find there’s a lack of goals,” says Graves.

If changes were to come in the form of either reduced equipment size or bigger nets, not only would the changes impact goaltenders and the way they approach the game, but also for defensemen as well. Graves believes that with the more advantages and benefits given to goal scorers more reliance on solid defensive play will be placed on defencemen.

“As a defencemen, if the nets were bigger I feel that we would have to get our bodies in the shooting lane more often and block more shots for our goalies,” says Graves.

This is not the first time the NHL has looked to put restrictions on the size of goaltender’s equipment. In fact over the last ten years the NHL has made restrictions to goaltender’s padding on several occasions. In 2003-2004 the NHL reduced the height of the pads to 37 inches and put restrictions on goaltender’s gloves, with a fine of $25,000 following any goaltender found breaking these rules.

In 2008-2009 the NHL reduced the width of pads, putting a cap at 11 inches. The move was seen as a way to create more openings for five-hole goals.

Making adjustments to the game to allow more goals seems like it will be more easily met with an enlarging of the nets. As the rulebook states now, goaltender’s equipment measurements are determined on the size of the goaltenders themselves to make sure that every tender has an equal playing advantage. Meaning making changes to the size of equipment will not come so easy.


NHL Pad Measurement Restrictions

Recently, Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock has expressed his support for bigger nets. Babcock believes that when it comes to goaltenders currently playing when compared to the goalies of the past, goaltenders now are much bigger. Babcock argues that when it comes to the game now, goalies getting bigger means the nets are inadvertently getting smaller.

“If the goalies [are] getting bigger then the net is getting smaller.” Babcock adds, “By refusing to change you are changing. Purists would say you can't do it because you're changing the game but by not changing you are changing the game,” says Babcock. (Quote from ESPN interview)

For now the meeting held Wednesday was only scheduled for one day and other topics such as hybrid icing, video review, and the bargaining agreement were on the agenda with the goaltending issue only being a very small part of the discussion. So, for now it might not be until after this season before we hear about any changes that might impact the game for hockey’s goaltenders.

Follow me on Twitter @Craig_Hagerman


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...