NHL, players examining size and configuration of equipment

6/12/2008 - NHL

Bigger isn't necessarily better when it comes to goalie's equipment.

In a meeting on Wednesday in Toronto between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association to examine the size and configuration of goalie equipment it was agreed that subtle changes will take place next season such as eliminating "extra padding" that helps goaltenders stop pucks, according to TSN of Canada.

"Goaltender equipment really only needs to be large enough to provide safety and protection for the goalie," Player's Association executive director Paul Kelly said, according to TSN.

A universal measurement system is at least a year away from happening, but it's designed so goalies will wear equipment that will properly fit them as opposed to wearing bulky gear.

There is a belief among some in the hockey world that reducing the size of goalie equipment would increase scoring.

The idea to have a group examine the issue came about at the general managers' meetings in Naples, Fla., in February, where there was unanimous consent to do something about the size of goalie equipment.

If the group decides changes to the rules governing goaltender equipment are warranted, and will not jeopardize the safety of the goalies, their recommendations will be forwarded to the NHL's competition committee for consideration.

"The players have been really good about this," Carolina Hurricanes' president and general manager Jim Rutherford told TSN. "They understand the issue. Of course the goalies are paid to give up as few goals as possible to do their job and they represented themselves properly with the understanding of what is best for the overall game."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.