NHL Goalies- Smaller Leg Pads Rule

Earlier this year the National Hockey League (NHL) changed the rules regarding the length of the goaltenders leg pads for the 2013-2014 season. By doing this, the pads are shorter, making a bigger opening in the five hole between the goaltenders legs.

The old rule that was implemented in the 2010-2011 season allowed the goalies to have their pads not exceed 55 percent of the distance between the center of their knee and pelvis. The new number is 45 percent, and now the goalie can not wear a pad exceeding 9 inches above their knee.

No matter how much the NHL tinkers or changes goalie equipment, NHL goalies are going to adjust like they have in the 70s, 80s and 90s. They also adjusted in 2005 when the NHL reduced the width of goalie pads from 12 to 11 inches. Goalies are just going to become quicker moving around the net with the smaller equipment, it also forces some goalies to change the way they position themselves.

I like how the league is trying to make games more exciting by trying to make them higher scoring, but I think there has to be a big change in equipment to make a more of a difference on the score board. On the other hand, how much can the NHL alter the goalie equipment without reducing the padding so much where the goalies are at risk of injury? Goalies face danger with every shot that is taken on them, granted it is already a very dangerous position, but why increase their danger even more with what is going to be a very minimal change in goal production throughout an NHL season.

So far this season it seems that NHL players are making more of an effort to go five hole, successful or not they are trying to capitalize on this new rule change. Do you think the NHL should keep adjusting goalie equipment? Is it going to result in more injuries if they keep changing the goalie equipment rule? Is the game better off with these new changes? What is more important goal production or players safety? I think if the NHL really wants to improve goal production they should just make the nets bigger, that way they are not sacrificing players safety.


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3 Responses to NHL Goalies- Smaller Leg Pads Rule

  1. bc10et says:

    I completely agree with the NHL implementing this policy. You look at goalies like Martin Brodeur the best goalie to ever play and his pads did not need to be altered, this shows how athletic and how great he actually is that a new rule has no impact on him what so ever. Than you look at others like Henrik Lundquvist, and J.S. Giguere. J.S. Giguere is a better example for this he is not very mobile on the ice, he took advantage of bigger pads making it easier to stop more pucks. Lundquvist as well is very mobile even with the bigger pads, however since the change he has not put up the numbers he once has. this just shows how goalies are taking advantage of the lack of policy and that the athleticism that goalies have may not be as much as we once thought. this change will hopefully bring goalies back to their roots putting athleticism front and centre in goalies development.

  2. hartmendy says:

    I think that you brought up an important topic as the NHL continues to take away from the goalies, and give more to the players. With the smaller padding, goalies have less equipment to protect them; this was showcased by Rick DiPietro earlier this year. When he signed with the Manchester Monarchs in a tryout contract, he spoke his voice about how he worries about pucks hitting his knees when going into the butterfly or sliding across the crease. He noted that an injury of this nature or getting a puck past the padding like this is rare; but it does happen a few times a year that the reduction in padding could cause more problems. As well, this may make the case for smaller more athletic goalies to showcase their speed in net; while potentially hindering the bigger, slower goalies production. Although there have not been any noticeable differences this year, thus far, as you pointed out it is evident players are shooting five hole more often. Is this good or bad for the game? That’s for the fans to judge!

  3. sroche19 says:

    I think that the new rule change for the goalie equipment is definitely a good move. It hasn’t made too much of a difference on goaltenders which is good although it has definitely given them a new challenge. An example would be Henrik Lundqvist who hasn’t been the same goalie he has in previous years. I think that the NHL should continue to monitor goalie equipment and scoring and continue to make necessary adjustments like this one. As long as the goalies are safe and well protected by the equipment why not continue to make changes if they make the game more exciting.

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