Goalie equipment, visors top meeting
TORONTO—NHL GMs yesterday discussed reducing the size of goalie equipment and increasing video review while both the league and NHL Players’ Association sounded a desire to grandfather in mandatory visors.
“Every little piece of goaltender equipment is now a project for a goalie to get bigger,” said Colin Campbell, the NHL’s vice-president of hockey operations.
Current rules allows goalie pads to go 55 percent of the way between your knee and your pelvis, noted Whitmore.
“The feeling of the managers today was that that seems to be a little bit too generous, and if we can find maybe a number that is a little lower that provides adequate protection then we’re willing to take a look at that,” he said.
Mathieu Schneider, a special assistant to NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, said players should rely on their own talents rather than equipment.
“The other concern is that you see a lot of pucks going high now,” he noted. “Defencemen especially shoot high from the point and that creates another danger obviously.
“An awful lot more pucks are going high because you just can’t score on the ice any more.”
Toronto goalie James Reimer was not that taken by the concept of such change.
“Obviously as goalies, we don’t want to give up any of our size or any of our gear—for safety reasons and puck-stopping reasons,” he said after helping the Leafs beat Tampa Bay 4-2 last night.
“We’re comfortable with it,” he added. “I don’t think any forwards would like it if you talked of taking away their one-piece sticks.”
Both sides, meanwhile, seemed in favour of visors. Schneider said some 72-73 percent of NHL players currently wear shields.
“By the sheer numbers of players wearing them, you’re seeing a big change in visors,” he noted.
“I’m certainly an advocate—and a bit of a hypocrite myself because I played my entire career without one,” Schneider admitted.
“But the game’s extremely fast,” he added. “Guys come into the league now having had to wear a visor before.
“We’re definitely going to look at talking to the guys about grandfathering them in.”
That might involve polling the players on the issue. The last time they did that, in 2009, players were “heavily” against grandfathering in visors, Schneider noted.
“Obviously a lot of time has passed [and] a couple more injuries,” he reasoned.
Campbell said the GMs are in favour of grandfathering in visors, making them mandatory for players entering the league.
“They’re not going to ask players who don’t have visors on now to wear visors,” he remarked.