Monday, August 4, 2008

Goalie Changes Don't Go Far Enough

Here's a shocker:

The committee formed to come up with ways to reduce the ridiculously large NHL goalie equipment has made a half-assed decision to make only minor changes for the upcoming season.

They're tinkering with the "flaps" on the knee pads and "reducing the clavicle protector".

Ostensibly, the clavicle protector includes the shoulder pads (cap protectors) but the league is not exactly being clear on that. In fact, they are refusing to give an exact measurement change thus far. That's strange considering that the number one problem are those enormous shoulder pads. Nothing is being done to reduce the size of their gargantuan catching gloves.

Could this be because there are three active goalies on the committee and only two current forwards, while ex-tenders Garth Snow and Jim Rutherford sit in the GM's chairs?

To be fair, the committee does include two great goal scorers - Dallas co-GM Brett Hull and Ottawa's own Dany Heatley. The knee pad being reduced will open up more room in the "5-hole" area but players trying to pick corners will still be hitting mile high shoulder pads which allows goalies to rely on simple positioning rather than athletic ability to stop pucks.

Nobody seems to be able to give a reasonable answer as to why the trappers need to be so big. The majority of the catching glove is not even protecting any fingers. It's basically like being allowed in the nets carrying the lid of a garbage can as part of your equipment. They could cut that beast in half and it would still adequately protect the goalie's digits.

Regardless, any change in this area is positive but they certainly could have been more daring. It may sound unreasonable and totalitarian, but isn't it time the league steps in and makes these decisions without any input from the goalies?

All they've shown is that they want to protect the status quo. They've been spoiled enough.

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