More shots, more scoring chances, more opposing players in front
of the net. Life in the new NHL has been anything but pleasant, so
far, for goalies.
If those obstacles weren't enough, the league's netminders also
face the increased traffic with smaller equipment and less room in
which they can play the puck.
Well, help is on the way in the form of two-time defending
Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur.
The New Jersey Devils star goaltender, who recently made it back
from an early season knee injury, was appointed this week to the
competition committee formed by the league and the players
"I am excited to be a part of the competition committee, since
it plays such an important role in the future of the NHL,'' Brodeur
said. "I look forward to representing the goalie fraternity as
part of my role.''
Brodeur and Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco were two players
directly impacted by the rule that limits where goalies can play
the puck. No longer can they go below the goal line to get the puck
in the corners. Instead, they can only stickhandle in a trapezoidal
area behind the goal.
But at least from now on, goalies will have a voice in deciding
what is best for the ever-changing league.
"We were all a little nervous coming into the season with the
changes, not just one or two of them, but all of them combined,
what it possibly could do,'' Turco said. "It's just the mental
challenge after games and after weeks or months after some
seemingly bad games, there's just nights that I've actually felt
like I've played well and let in four or five goals. But you just
have to let it go.''
In addition to Brodeur, the committee includes players Rob Blake
of Colorado, Jarome Iginla of Calgary, Trevor Linden of Vancouver
and Brendan Shanahan of Detroit. The clubs are represented by
general managers Bob Gainey of Montreal, Kevin Lowe of Edmonton,
David Poile of Nashville, Don Waddell of Atlanta and owner Ed
Snider of Philadelphia.
Colin Campbell, the league's director of hockey operations,
supervises and is a nonvoting member. Mike Gartner, the NHLPA's
director of business relations, also is a nonvoting member.
The committee, established in the new collective bargaining
agreement, consists of up to 10 voting members for the purpose of
evaluating and making recommendations on matters relating to the
game -- and the way it is played -- to the NHL board of governors