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Corey Hirsch Outlines Possible Equipment Changes

Corey Hirsch Outlines Possible Equipment Changes

On Sportsnet’s Wednesday night broadcast of the Montreal Canadiens/Colorado Avalanche game, there was an intermission segment hosted by Corey Hirsch that outlined possible goaltender equipment changes. Hirsch talked about each piece of gear, and explained how gear manufacturers can reduce the size.

Check out the entire segment in the clip below:

As goaltenders, it’s important to take this issue seriously. While safety is the biggest concern any time this subject is brought forward, we must also acknowledge that there are goaltenders that bend the rules beyond their intent and wear certain pieces of equipment simply for their increased coverage.

As a former professional himself, Hirsch knows the risk involved in standing in the way of NHL calibre shots. Overall, he presented his ideas in a clear and logical way.

Chest protector: He mentions that the shoulders can be rounded, and the flaps on the chest can be completely removed. The idea behind that is that it will cause the chest protector to hug the goaltender’s body more. Less flat surface will hopefully mean more area to shoot at, without sacrificing protection for the goalie. While that may work to an extent, it may not be as drastic as shown in the video. If there was a human model wearing the gear shown in the video, parts of their upper arms and shoulder would have been protruding from the equipment after they shrunk it. The shoulder flaps can likely be reduced in size, but it may not be possible to get rid of them completely; after all, Florida Panthers No.1 Roberto Luongo fractured a bone last season when a shot found a gap in that exact area. Don’t be surprised if the NHL pushes for a rounded shoulder cap instead of the flap, something that can be sized so it sits right on the edge of a goalie’s shoulder rather than protruding out well past it.

Glove: Hirsch proposes they shrink the overall size of the glove, and completely remove the “cheater” on the inside of the thumb. Shrinking the overall size will disappoint many goaltenders, but should not drastically affect safety. Completely removing the cheater may prove to be more difficult, however. That piece may have been poorly named and has undoubtedly expanded in size over the years, but it does serve a purpose: thumb protection. A cheater-less prototype was made back in 2005 as part of the joint NHL-NHL Players’ Association discussions on shrinking equipment that led to pad width being reduced from 12- to 11-inches, but the idea was scrapped because of how much the thumb as being bent back on shots without it and concerns it would lead to injuries. Shrinking it may be an option, especially with improvements in materials over the decade since that discussion. But completely removing it could be dangerous, and at the very least requires testing, especially since the thinner cuff Hirsch proposed may leave wrists exposed in an area the chest-and-arm does not cover adequately.

Pads: Hirsch wants the thigh rise to be shortened even more than the NHL has already done, and proposes that the width of each pad should shrink to 10 inches, down from the current max of 11 inches. He also wants the outer roll to be removed because it doesn’t serve any other purpose than to control rebounds. This is definitely the most radical of the changes that he suggests. Pads are already smaller than they have been in the last 20 years, and proposing that they become even smaller poses concern. Pads expanded in size during the era when goalies started to frequently use the butterfly position.

Think about that one for a second. The last time goaltenders wore pads as small as proposed in the Sportsnet segment, the butterfly was not actively used by every goaltender. Unless the goal of shrinking the pads is to stop goaltenders from using the butterfly, it could lead to some scary results. Dropping into the butterfly opens up access for the puck to hit the goaltender’s knee. Hirsch suggests that modern knee pads can handle it, but there are some doubts about that, and NHL goalies will tell you the model he displayed is far from adequate protection for the direct impacts that could result from shorter pads.

Current knee pads are designed to protect against deflections and awkward shots that somehow find their way through the rest of the goalie’s equipment. A direct shot to the knee pad can still cause breakage. As sad as it is for shooters to hear, butterfly goalies (which every goaltender in the NHL is) need the length on their pad for protection. That is not something that should be tweaked, but current restrictions could probably be monitored and enforced better.

The sizing chart that currently ties each goaltender’s pad height proportionally to the length of their leg produces a total maximum height, but does not dictate how that height is worn. A lot of NHL goalies have found ways to shift more of the pad up their leg by how they wear it, pushing more of it above the knee and into the area that closes the five-hole when they drop into the butterfly. Making the sizing chart specific to how much of the pad is above the knee, something that was shot down by goalies and the NHLPA last time, will rectify this.

As for the width, goalies were concerned about proper rotation if pads got too thin in 2005, but the reality is with the exception of Marc-Andre Fleury, pretty much every goaltender in the NHL currently wears a pad with a inset leg channel on the back side, so losing that inch seems possible, and removing the outer roll, which helps deflect pucks back down to the ice and prevent them from skipping over the pad and into the net, might add a goal here and there.

Pants: Hirsch suggests that each NHL goaltender is fitted for their waist size, and given an appropriate pair of pants. He also suggests that they are made to be less baggy. Pants are one of the easiest ways that goaltenders currently cheat for extra size, and making those changes are definitely a step in the right direction.

Blocker: He wants gear manufacturers to make them flat again. That seems like a bit of pointless tinkering since technically the curve at the top of the blocker doesn’t take up any extra space, but if it will make people happy, go for it. Be forewarned, though, that part of the design of that curve is to open up space on the back and prevent interference with the bottom of the chest and arm, which frees up wrist mobility. Less of it may prevent some of the “athletic saves” analysts keep demanding amid talk of blocking goalies that no longer exist.

Stick: He questions the length of the stick blade, and the end of the stick. He proposes that the paddle of the stick stays the same, but the other areas are reduced. Again, it’s not certain that these changes will have a huge effect on goal scoring. It would certainly make puckhandling more of a challenge for goaltenders, though.

Gear Reductions

If all of the gear size changes that Corey Hirsch proposed came true, this is what an NHL goaltender would look like.

This clearly isn’t the first time that goaltender gear changes have been discussed at length in the public forum. This is the first time that it has been laid out, piece by piece on national television. While the finished product may look tantalizing to viewers that want more scoring, expectations have to be tempered. Even if the gear was reduced to what we saw in the video, would scoring increase by 2+ goals per game? Unlikely, but it’s a step in the right direction to weed out goalies that are pushing the intended limits with their gear size.

While the changes to the pants, stick, and blocker could easily be made, the chest protector, pads, and glove are harder to tweak. The last thing that the NHL wants is to reduce gear size, then have a bunch of goalies miss time the next season with gear-related injuries. There are also serious legal implications if that occurs.

With that in mind, the NHL’s goaltending supervisor Kay Whitmore has taken on the challenge, and we will likely see some new gear prototypes, which were shown to goalies at the All Star Game, rolling out soon. The league tried to take similar steps in 2005 after the first lockout, but had to scrap many of the ideas because of concerns over goaltender injuries. Hopefully with some of the new materials that are now being used, some of those changes can actually take place.

Just don’t expect them to happen overnight. As good a job as Hirsch and the Sportsnet producers did with their segment on Wednesday, it’s a lot easier to magically trim goalies with television graphics. The reality of manufacturing equipment is these changes will take a year to make, and given the severity of some, proper testing is needed before that process even starts.

About The Author

Greg Balloch

Greg Balloch is a Vancouver-based writer for InGoal Magazine, broadcaster for Sportsnet 650, and goaltending coach. His career began in Hamilton, Ontario with the Junior 'A' Hamilton Red Wings, before moving to Vancouver to cover the Canucks on the radio and work with the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL. A lifelong goaltender, he has been teaching the position for over a decade.


  1. Brrr

    I wonder if Hirsch realizes that the current gear is already substantially smaller than it was when he played.

    • NJGoalie

      Is that true? If so that is a substantial piece of information being conveniently buried by all these analysts. Do you have any links or numbers on this, I would be interested in reading them. Thanks.

      • Wes H

        Leg pads were 13″ wide when he played, although they were shorter. Catchers and blockers were reduced in 2005, I think the year was, substantially. My old Itech catcher was the size of my chest. As for the C/A look up Hirsch’s trading card from when he was in Vancouver, he’s wearing a queen mattress.

      • Jim

        I agree with him as far as not messing with the size of the goal. Making the pads smaller WILL effect safety, and over time the goalies will simply continue to get larger. It’s already happened since the last pad reductions, the trend will continue and goals will not increase. Goalie coaching, goalie specific training, lighter equipment , will result in more skilled, faster, larger goalie. Pointless. Require teams to have the long change for the first and third periods, do not eliminate icing during the PK and you will see more goals scored.

      • Greg

        Look at pictures on the internet through the years of around 1992 vs. 2000 along with 2000 vs. 2016 and your eyes will see the size difference. Guys like Kelly Hrudey with his mid-90’s extra wide MCM gear. Curtis Joseph has huge TPS gear in Edmonton from giant gloves to pads that went wider at the bottom along with an extra pad cheaters seen up close. Garth show was wearing an eventual shingle-like chest and arm which added a couple inches or so to the shoulders let alone massive overall girth seen in a late Flyers photo of him with Ron Hextall on the ice. Pretty cool to see this crazy sized stuff years ago vs. now.

  2. Michael

    If knee pads will protect the goalie as well as pads – maybe Corey would like to block some Shea Webber or PK Subban slapshots with just some knee pads to demonstrate – I would personally prefer a goal pad with Knee pads as backup.

  3. Brian l

    You can talk about the advancement in materials all you want, shrinking all this down, wrapping it to form fit the body, shrink the pads again and you will have injuries. There is no way, with the strength of these new players and the continued advancement in the stick development to increase shot speed would this be safe or good for goaltenders. You can’t have these guys wearing equipment similar in size and coverage that was worn in 50’s, it’s not the same game. You can limit things like having the chest protector roll back over shoulders instead of making them stand up straight but removing padding and wrapping it sounds crazy. What do I know though, I am just a fan.

    • Charles Pierce

      I have to agree with you that with as hard as players shoot now making the equipment smaller again will result in more injuries. I started back in the days of the old brown leather Cooper equipment.. Leg pads filled with deer hair, a waffle blocker, catching glove with no cheater, Chest protector that looked like the one I wore playing little league baseball and cotton arm and shoulder protector. I only played drop-in games but still had some guys that shot pretty hard. I was always coming home with bruises. I’m not a butterfly goaltender, I’m more old school stand-up type or maybe what is called a hybrid, a little of both. I played in a charity game last year with 12 former NHL players. The ones on the other team were Rob Blake, Larry Murphy, George Parras, and Ray Whitney. Rob Blake ripped a slap shot from the blue line and I keep telling myself I’m glad I was screened and didn’t see it coming because if I had I would have tried to stop it and it WOULD have left a mark.

    • Voltron

      Obviously u like the 2-1 games boring, if you seen Gretzky play and messier in there day you would notice the open holes and net for the shooters to use, now they need a scope on there sticks to pick a corner

      • Anthony

        Obviously you’re extremely ignorant to not realize that the game is different, players are better, coaching is better, and obviously goalies are better. Furthermore I don’t see the need for increased scoring, I’ve seen plenty of 7+ goal games in the past two months alone. Also last time the NHL tried to increase scoring by decreasing goalie equipment it just helped the goalies, the pads were made to fit better and therefore the golies were faster and able to actually stop more 5-hole goals rather than less which was the goal. Plus why is it okay that as players get better and recieve better and better equipment that allow for harder and far more accurate shots, the NHL continues to punish goalies for getting better at there position as well all while trying to address a nonexistent problem. Blocking goalies don’t exist, goalies don’t make saves because their pants have an extra inch on them, goalies don’t make saves because of a higher thigh rise, goalies don’t make saves because slightly larger chest protectors (that’s a pyschological trick to make it seem like theres less to shoot at but there really isn’t and players have come to know that), and the stick? Are you kidding me, seriously anyone here who is a goalie knows that the extra bit on the blade is meant to add durability to a stick that has to take an absolute beating and the extra on the top on the stick is meant to help balance the stick and help compensate for the weight of the paddle. Personally I like the close games, I like to see high scoring games, and I love to see the odd game where the goalie steals the show. Right now the NHL has a good mix of all of that and trying to change that simply for the sake of nostalgia for these old timers running the show would be a terrible mistake. Realize you’ve had your time and this is a new era in the NHL and a far better and more popular one than that you played in. What nobody likes to watch whether it’s your team or not is a blowout, the NHL should focus on curbing those. Unfortunetly that task is up to those running each respective team so heres a new task for you NHL executives: make sure management on each team is better (good luck with that lol). Leave the game alone, it’s more interesting now than ever and most competitive it’s ever been and therefore the most fun to watch. The real reason Gretzky and others before and after him had such success isn’t because goalies were smaller, it’s because the game wasn’t as serious nor were the players or goalies anywhere near as skilled or strong as they are now. Straight up, hockey is a much harder sport to play today than it was back then. If goalies are going to have their improvements repealled then I say that players should have theirs taken as well, that means wooden sticks with zero curve just like the boring old days. Maybe we should even take a little of the top eh Hirsch? Tell me how those knee pads work out, I have a pair and I wouldn’t take a straight slapper to them from a bantam AA player let alone a star NHLer.

  4. Paolo

    With the last upgrade I am obliged to use knee protectors below leg pads and I agree with Micheal. For me is enough slap shot in minor league in Germany or Italy. Chara or Subban would crunck my knee.
    Furthermore, i don`t really see this huge goalie advantage right now. I know it is a easy way to get more goal, not more show….

  5. Moose

    Bring back wood sticks while your at it Corey. Why the push for more goals ? Does the league really think they will attract more fans with 1-2 more goals per game? Ever stop to think its not just the size of the goalies gear what about the skill set of players today . There really is no difference between a skilled D man and the skilled F. Rewind some 20 years you had one good skating D man and the other 5 were average. Today if you can’t skate you can’t play in the NHL . Look at other factors before taking things from the goalies AGAIN! What restrictions have the Forwards and Defenseman had to endure???

  6. thiago

    Do You want more goals? Make it 4 on 4.

  7. Haakan Light

    These changes are completely unnecessary. The only thing that needs to happen for more goal scoring to take place is for referees to actually crack down harder on obstruction penalties. I’ve watched so many games where the referees continue to let things go that deny scoring chances. If a guy is in the offensive zone with possession (or on the team with possession) and the defending team commits an obstruction infraction of any kind, they need to call it. No more eating the whistle when the 3rd period starts. No more letting things go because of which player has the puck. Penalties need to be enforced with higher consistency. Goalies have a hard enough time stopping shots today. We don’t need every game to be 6-4 or 7-5. Hockey used to have ridiculous garbage goals scored every game before the butterfly technique came along. We DON’T need to go back there. Attendance is good, money is flowing and the NHL has a good thing going right now. Change things dramatically and you will find that the fans will leave. If you want to watch a game with lots of scoring, watch football, basketball, or baseball. You don’t hear MLS or any of the Professional Soccer leagues complaining how they need “more goal scoring” and those games are lower scoring than the NHL most of the time. I’m not a soccer fan, but I will say this: Soccer has more fans than ANY sport worldwide. So to sit here and say that more goal scoring is necessary to keep/add fans is just a total bologna argument.

  8. Tom

    So what happens after these changes are made and goalies adjust like they always do after new gear restrictions? Will they change the net size at that point? And for what, to bring in more football and basketball fans? The game is fine the way it is. Stop punishing goalies for advancing the state of their craft to the art form it has become. Call penalties by the book and you’ll have your 2 more precious goals per game.

  9. Brent

    Interesting…the only thing I really didn’t agree with was shrinking the blade. I think with the advanced materials we have available today, smaller gear shouldn’t be much of a problem.Would be very interesting to watch which goalies this helps and hurts…but to all these people complaining about scoring, the Kings scored frickin’ 9 goals against the Bruins!

    • Jim

      Sheesh, why is Brent the only one who is making any sense here? I agree, leave the stick alone, changing it would mess up the balance.

      Sure, today’s goalies are vastly superior to the goalies of the past. But there’s no reason why they should look like the Michelin Man. The gear has gotten wider over the years. The gear has NOT gotten smaller. It has gotten thinner due to technology and wider.

      The NHL has been a bunch of pussies in reducing the gear. The originally wanted to shrink the pads to 10 inches wide and backed off. The cuff on the glove can be reduced by a lot. As a goalie, I can tell you cheater is a totally appropriate term. I agree with the rebuttal, keep in the part that supports the thumb.

      The design of today’s arm padding actually sucks. The make it wider now, but the back of the arms are totally exposed if you get twisted around, the older style wraps around.

      And to the comment how this will affect kids growing up, it will effect the 1% of kids who actually make it to the NHL.

      • Matt

        Yea, it will completely screw up those 1% of kids. Oh and since manufacturers will change ALL pads they produce to fit these new standards, as they always do, those kids in training will take career ending injuries more often, especially to the knees. Fancy that: LESS skilled goaltenders.

        Straightening the blocker is genius too. Not like that means paddle down is impossible, or that now it’ll catch on your armpad or anything. Oh wait: yes it does.

        Good lord, its like people who don’t even know how to skate come on here and say “Yep, the idiots on TV that are talking are smart, despite the fact that THEIR OWN ACTIONS go against this (bonus point: Do you know what size Hirsch’s pads were when HE played? Against LESS skilled players with less ability to snipe corners?).

        I mean, feel free man, you might enjoy the thought of your kid having less protection AND less functional ability, but I don’t.

  10. Curliefries29

    Leave it all the same. Change nothing.

  11. Brian

    The only thing that I can agree on that Corey is talking about is the pants they should fit the waist as for the blocker and the curve it is because of the angle that goalies hold their arms and if straight it would just make a ramp for the puck to go under the bar, no good!, the glove could be smaller at the point between the thumb and wrist but not the flaring at the wrist and the chest protector is fine because the shoulders are flared up so the puck has less chance to ride up and under the halet and into the side of the neck you can ask subban and lundqvist how that feels.

  12. Derek

    The solution to more scoring is so simple. But the league would never go for it because there is serious talent drop off after a teams second line. It’s this… No more obstruction. Like none. No wacking a guy from behind. No pining a stick down. No holding of checks. Give stars room to skate without all that other stuff. Two more goals a game. Easy. Mcdavid doesn’t get hurt. And goons are obsolete.

  13. Paul Ipolito

    Goalie equipment has been downsized for a few years now. Has anyone tracked the number of goalie injuries related to smaller equipment? It seems all we ever hear about are high-ankle sprains, knee, and hip injuries.

  14. Ken

    If you want to go full circus in the name of scoring, make all goalies play with player sticks no added risk to injury it will just look goofy as hell.

  15. Matt

    I wonder what would happen to all of us kids playing minor hockey if these new rules go though? Would you have to buy all new equipment to keep yourself playing legally?

  16. Evan

    1) When a team gives up 8 shots a period and 7 of them are chest saves and pad saves along the ice from shots from the perimeter, goalies can be in a track suit and they’ll still make those saves just due to positioning.

    2) Soccer has massive nets and goalies with no added gear (other than gloves) and those are consistently some of the lowest scores in sports. Why? Could it be something to do with the systems, or should FIFA only allow 4’0 tall little people wearing corsets to play goal to increase scoring and increase the width of the net to the entire width of the field?

    3) Some goalies are just very large men. Ben Bishop, Anders Nilsson, Scott Darling, Dubnyk, and this list of 6’6 + giants in the league will only grown in the coming years. Look at Carey Price, at a modest 6’3 still just looks big in a recent video of him in a track suit on the ice for crease drills during his knee rehab.

    4) Even if some new anatomical, form-fitting carbon nano-fibre chest pads and pants were made to reduce some of the size, they surely won’t be cheap. Goalie parents are already paying substantially more to fit their kids with adequate gear, and if this new stuff ever becomes a standard they can surely look at another significant price increase for gear. Call me crazy Corey, but I thought we wanted to remove barriers for kids to play hockey (whatever their favourite or preferred position may be), not make it even more difficult to afford the gear.

  17. steve mordow

    if they really want to shrink goalie gear, make us goaltenders wear those small shin guards and chest protectors that baseball catchers wear….Seriously, I don’t care what the NHL does, just make sure that USA hockey, CAHA and IIHF do NOT adopt these stupid goaltending size restrictions. Otherwise, these dumb ideas filter down to us, the goalie equipment consumer…

  18. Tyler cole

    What I’m having a hard time with is that gear manufacturers such as CCM and Bauer are constantly releasing new sticks that help improve shot power and accuracy while goaltending equipment gets smaller and the risk of injuries increase if this newly sized gear released. Not to mention that the statement “Hockey needs to be more exciting” is an opinion statement so unless the majority of the hockey community says yes lets change the size of equipment, then I think nothing should be changed at all. If any change should occure, mess with the size of the nets, not equipment.

  19. Alex

    this guy is so wrong! If goalie equipment is small enough already (the position isn’t all that easy either). Make it 4 on 4, 3 on 3 even. Just don’t mess with my equipment! The only thing i can agree on is the chest protecter.

  20. wiggles

    Corey Hirsch has lost his mind. He should go back to being a subpar goaltender because he is a terrible analyst.

    • Matt

      You, sir, are completely correct, and deserve a medal for that post, haha.

  21. Jason

    Goalies are becoming better based on increased athleticism from both on ice and off ice training methods. Making equipment smaller would increase the risk of injury to the player in which teams have millions of dollars invested but probably not effect goals per game scoring. I can get behind the idea to make the rinks wider to allow skill players more room to work. Even though my competitive days are far behind me I know that the smaller gear would cause me to risk serious, irreparable damage to my knees, hips, back, shoulders and hands. Just leave the size of the gear alone and focus on other solutions if you want more scoring because as NHL history has demonstrated shrinking gear will on decrease scoring.

  22. Tom

    since when is corey hirsch a goaltending expert? An average or below back up nhl goalie at best. He retired in 2006, 10 years ago, the hockey he played is totally different than the hockey they play now. He says they should reduce the goalie equipment sizes again? Wake up and drink some coffee! Goalies are athletes now, way taller too. Start with increasing the size of the nets first, second, increase the size of the ice, these guys are bigger faster stronger and need more room to skate, 4 on 4 hockey is way better to watch. Increase the size of the ice at least 5-10 feet around and it would cut down on injuries because by the time the player goes to hit the other player, the player with the puck has already passed the puck. Its fairly simply, you need to change the size of the ice and nets to adjust to the modern hockey player. By the way corey, why should goalies reduce their equipment again? when players start using wooden sticks again, then you can reduce goalie equipment size. By the way, 90% of nhl hockey players used composite sticks in 2004 and you retied in 2006, wow! 2 years is all you lasted and you were using oversized goalie equipment, your chest and arm combo was oversize and so was your catcher, check out some of his pics when he was on the vancouver canucks!

  23. brian

    the league needs to increase shot totals during a game to increase scoring. Give players penalties to stand like a goalie and block shots, make the players gear smaller, remove shot blockers from skates, will result in less injuries to players hitting other guys with “armored” elbow and shoulder pads and make guys think twice about getting in the way of a 100mph slapshot. shots are cut in half since Corey played, every guy on the ice blocks shots, go back and look at tapes, see how many shots Gretzky blocked while he played, the game has changed, unless you increase shot totals, the scoring will go down, regardless of the size of equiptment. Goaltending is a science now, the “kid who couldn’t skate” being the goalie is gone, they are now the most proficient skaters on the team. I play goal now with undersized gear for whats available, If I had to face 20 or 30 shots a game, with 80% of them from the outside or the point I’d have pretty easy games, the systems and players gear have taken away the shots, not the goalies equiptment, lots of guys can score when they have time and space in the shootout. And if the league wants more scoring they should take away the 3 point game, teams don’t want to make mistakes and sit back in the 3rd period if the game is tied, they play for that all important point, make teams play for 2 points only, regarless if they win in regulation, OT or the shootout, like all other professional team sports, you shouldn’t get points for losing, make them play for their points. Don’t allow the goaltender to be a 3rd d-man either, take away his ability to play the puck out of the crease, or if you allow him to play the puck, allow him to be hit like every other player on the ice. All these guys who want to change the gear should stand in the net and have Shea Weber and Chara blast some slap shots at them with the gear they want the guys to wear and see how it would work, changing gear is gonna effect every level of hockey in the world. A good quality NHL level chest protector costs between $500-$700 now, what would it cost a kids parents if the gear changes with todays new “technology”, over $1000…crazy for a few more goals here and there to try and attract people to watch the game who aren’t real fans of the game anyway.

  24. mike

    To echo what another poster pointed out, how many times does it seem that the shooter just shot right at the goalie? The average fan gets frustrated with this and either says, “These guys are pros — why are shooting right at him??” or “The goalies are so big now they have nowhere else to shoot … make the equipment smaller!”

    They have no clue that the ability to position yourself so that the shots come right at you takes hours, weeks, months … YEARS to perfect. If you could transport Georges Vezina, Turk Broda, Terry Sawchuk, Ken Dryden or Bernie Parent through time and give them modern equipment, none of them would be NHL calibre goaltenders. That doesn’t diminish their accomplishments — they were important parts of the evolution of goaltending. It’s like auto racing in that each new generation builds on the previous one. But you can’t simply put a modern engine and transmission into a 1927 Duesenberg and expect it to qualify for the Indy 500 (great as the Duesy was in its time!)

  25. Ray Perkins

    Corey shrinking the gear isn’t the answer. If you want to discuss making things “fair” carbon fiber sticks with 70 flex need to go away. Then your 100mph shooters become 75mph shooters. Go back to the old school player skates with virtually zero glide and make sure they all weigh 5 lbs per foot. Felt liners on everything so it weighs 10 pounds more at the end of the game than it did at the beginning. Let players play the body and understand this is still a contact sport. You want to talk about tradition, I’m pretty sure that included body checks and the occasional fight (see the definition of the Gordie Howe hat tick).

    Instead of making everything “fair” (everyone gets a trophy right?) Those players who are outstanding will continue to be outstanding, those goalies who stand on their head night after night will continue to do so. Not every kid (player or goalie) is going to play professionally, and blaming/crediting the equipment is taking away from the fact that goalies are far more skilled and athletic than they have been in years past. You want to punish goalies for getting better and yet modifications to players gear goes unchecked….yep that is exactly what hockey needs.

  26. Todd

    Well thank goodness he said nothing about masks….he could have us all playing bare faced. No thanks Corey I would have no interest in reducing the size of my gear if I played in the NHL with shots at the speed they are. Price wears 34.75″ pads even though he is 6″2. The trend is the NHL goalies seem to voluntarily wear shorter pads, but wear bigger need pads to further block the five hole.

  27. Scott

    What I dislike most in this discussion is that “executives” and GMs — guys sporting a spare tire under their dress shirts — are the ones who get to bat around ideas about redesigning goal gear in the old fashioned form. These guys are nowhere near the ice, even as coaches, nor are they near the experience of playing net, learning the position, or understanding the difficulty of newer goal techniques. Face it, these geriatric fat guys have not seen a clap bomb into the gut from a 110 flex twig. Had they ever, they wouldn’t be talking about Vaughn’s gimmicky “carbon” being a wave of the future …

    Arbitrarily, then, executives have decided that scoring is down because of gear; it is clearly not. Even a passing understanding of the position and its evolution reveals that the techniques behind the position have improved so vastly that even shots from the slot have only a fine chance of slipping through, virtually nothing from a bad angle.

    I am looking for the NHLPA and the netminders to take a firm stand against more than a few of these proposals. Shorten the stick blade?! Wake up.

  28. michael weaver

    Those of you who have no NHL level goaltender experience should stop arguing with Corey Hirsch. It doesn’t matter that when he played his equipment was larger than now. This argument is being made with no factual data to back it up and it doesn’t even matter, it misses the point. Several goalies are known as blocking goaltenders using their massive body size and their massive goalie equipment to block shots. They are not using skill. If the size of all equipment is reduced (except for the helmet and goalie safety not being compromised) it will force the less skilled goaltenders out of the starting line up and allow those who are truly athletically skilled to shine.

  29. Trevor kidd

    Hahahah this muppet above me thinks shrinking the gear is about bringing out the athletic goalies. Keep dreaming dude. And you think there are goalies that made it to the nhl on size alone, or so you say ” are not using skill”. You seriously think these guys made it to the nhl based off thier gear size!?

    • michael weaver

      Oh Trevor the kidd you are adorable. Not sure you read my post very thoroughly. Take another read then see if what you said I said lines up. Then take a look at what a couple NHL goal tenders are saying about the issue.

      Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner
      “I love that. I love that idea,” Lehner said. “It’s just not consistent through the league. A lot of goalies have way-too-big equipment on. They can fit four sets of arms in one sleeve of the chest protector. I know guys in this league who wear player pants underneath their goalie pants. That’s how big their pants are.
      “You see guys look like absolute monsters on the ice. It’s nuts. You can have guys weigh 175 and they look like a 300-pound sumo wrestler out there.”

      New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider
      “I think we should all be on the same playing field, doing the same thing, and let the talent win out,” Cory Schneider, who is on the NHL-NHLPA competition committee, said during All-Star Weekend in January. “If you’re talented, can move around the net and stop pucks, those are the guys that should be in the league.”

  30. Doug

    Shrink the equipment & teams will continue to look for large, athletic goalies. Meaning we will miss out on talented, young goalies who are simply deemed to small to make it. As a goalie I know pucks have way of finding those gaps in your gear, especially the harder shots. I’ve got good knee pads but I know when i get hit in them, they still dont provide the same protection as the pads. Also, with my equipment these days my shoulders & arms don’t take a beating like they used to. I also don’t think it will have the desired affect that the league wants. The NHL should look at the interference away from the puck but this would mean the refs making judgement calls on the ice & the league doesn’t want that. I personally think by eliminating these little pick plays & interference away from the puck would pay huge dividends in added goals. Let the positional jockeying only allowable in the house (slot area) of the offensive zone.

  31. Paul

    This is ridiculous. Do people realize how hard these shots today are?? I have that same chest protector and still had to beef it up because the pucks still left the occasional bruise. The equipment is fine. If people want to shrink it, may I suggest stepping up the a Shea Webber shot first and then make your decision. And ‘carbon fiber’…that will be insanely expensive. The regular consumer needs to able to afford the equipment too. The game is fine, it’s much better than when these ancient angry goalies played. But I guess the 15 goals scored in last nights caps vs pens game wasn’t enough.