The goal-friendly NHL has been making steps to level out the playing field for goal scorers and goalies by minimizing the size of the goaltender equipment. Last season there was a change made to reduce the pant size, and in the recent past we have seen changes to pads, trappers, and blockers. The expectation for this upcoming season was to see a smaller chest protector be enforced but that time will have to wait…for now. It was reported that the equipment is not quite ready for this year but is still in the works for the near future.
Goalies around the NHL, including All-Stars Cory Schneider and Brayden Holtby, have been on board with the changes to cut down on the equipment size as the bigger equipment was taking away from the athletic ability from these backstoppers. The alterations have been led by Kay Whitmore of the NHL who has assisted with creating the new prototypes and is already known around the league as goalie-cop. Whitmore has ensured all teams around the league have been up to date on all the goalie modifications and made it clear that the rules will be enforced – any culprits will be fined and face possible suspensions.
For now we will have to wait another year as the new chest protectors are still in the final stages of being developed. The work being done is complicated as they want to minimize the size without minimizing the safety the current equipment has been providing the goalies. The NHL is taking the obvious safe approach as the last thing they would want to happen would see one of their goalies go down with an injury due to rushing a piece of protection that is not 100% ready. The next GM’s meeting might give us a better indication and update to when we can expect these changes to be made.