Thursday, November 12, 2015

Kings' Quick on Board with Reductions in Size to NHL Goalie Gear

Jonathan Quick says leave the nets alone. But have at the goalie gear. In an interview with the Orange County register on Wednesday, the L.A. Kings netminder says that he's fine with smaller gear with NHL goalies, and he gave his own very sophisticated take on the matter.

"I’m on board. I know there’s a coach who came out a couple weeks ago talking about nets. I think that’s ridiculous. If you look around the league at the goalies, in their street clothes and then with their gear on, the difference in size is a little too much. So I’m on board with that. If they’re trying to find a safe way to do that -- that’s the key, a safe way -- to reduce the size of the equipment, I’m all for it. Obviously if it starts to risk injury and stuff like that, then you have to find a different route to do it. But you can just tell. You look at goalies on the ice and off the ice, and you can just tell that it’s something that can be addressed."

Quick adds that the NHL needs to bring in some help for their Supervisor of Goaltending, Kay Whitmore.

"The biggest issue is, there’s one guy, Kay Whitmore, who is the only guy who checks the gear. He’s the only guy I ever see come to the rinks and check gear. At the same time, he’s the guy who has to be at the factory approving the gear that’s getting shipped out, and watching tapes and seeing which goalies look big. Then he has to visit. There’s just way, way too much work for him to have to do in order to keep it in check. "If you look, there’s been zero fines. I don’t think, since I’ve been in the league, there have been fines for goalie equipment. For sure there’s some, I don’t want to say cheating, but there’s some guys trying to supplement the gear a little bit. That happens around the league. There’s no question about that. To put one guy in charge of all that, it’s too much on his plate. So you’re not getting anywhere."

At the GM meetings this week, NHL brass continued to support the move for smaller goalie equipment, with the belief that it will force more goalies out of their crease to actually make saves, rather than playing the percentages and taking up as much space as possible between the pipes. In a column for Sportsnet, Mark Spector mentions that he believes the NHL is at a point where goalies are starting to believe that enlarged pads are bad for their craft. In other words, the pads are making average goalies look great and thus diluting the position.

Colin Campbell, the NHL's Senior Director Executive VP and Director of Hockey Operations, says the NHL's plan is to limit the size of goaltender's equipment, starting next season.

"We are making an attempt this year. Usually we make that attempt every year and the manufacturers tell us they can't do it in time after our June meeting. So last year we said okay you've got a year and a half to do it."

Campbell told SN590's "Prime Time" that the NHL will start to see downsized goalie's equimpment, starting in 2016.

"Some goalies are playing the position according to the size of equipment," he said. But Campbell didn't seen all that convinced that the program will help increase scoring in the NHL. "Hopefully we get this done (increasing goal scoring), if not then I guess we go to Plan B, Mike Babcock's."