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NHL, NHLPA discuss goalie equipment; changes are coming

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TSN.ca Staff
6/12/2008 12:04:38 AM
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The NHL and the NHL Players' Association got together in Toronto on Wednesday to examine the size and configuration of goalie equipment.

The biggest news coming out the meeting was that changes are coming.

There will be subtle modifications done for next season, like eliminating some of the 'extra padding' that helps goaltenders stop pucks as opposed to protecting them.

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

A universal measurement system will be developed so goalies will wear equipment that will properly fit them as opposed to wearing bulky gear. The measurement system is at least a year away from happening, but it's designed for the process of 'shaping' goaltenders as opposed to making them look more square like we've seen in recent years.

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

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."

Today's meeting included league commissioner Gary Bettman, deputy commissioner Bill Daly, and current NHL 'goalie equipment police' Kay Whitmore representing the National Hockey League, general managers Rutherford and Doug Risebrough, along with Steve Yzerman from the Red Wings.

Along with NHLPA head Kelly, Player's Association ombudsman Eric Lindros and Northeast Divisional Representative Rob Zaumner were also on hand.

Current players Martin Brodeur, Rick DiPietro, Ryan Miller, Dany Heatley and Mike Cammalleri of the LA Kings were also involved in today's meeting.

"We wanted to be fair and even handed," Kelly said.  "We wanted all the goaltenders to be playing on a level playing field, and on that principle I think we made some real progress."

Tomas Vokoun (Photo: Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
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