At their annual meeting held in Boca Raton, Florida this past March, NHL General Managers agreed that goaltending equipment needed to become smaller, and thus initiated a plan to implement new streamlined equipment and tighter uniforms in time for the 2016-2017 season. The timeline of that plan now seems to be in doubt.
The goal is to cut away all the “fat.” The parts that extend out past the body and don’t wrap in the chest, pants and upper body area will be eliminated.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 18, 2016
However, reports began to surface this week that the original goal to implement the new streamlined equipment in time for the World Cup of Hockey appears out of the question. At the time of this report, no formal agreement between the NHL and NHLPA regarding final equipment standards had been approved.
Additionally, none of the current NHL goalies had received any prototypes to examine and test. Finally, and rightfully so, a number of goalies have asked for comprehensive safety testing of the new equipment before they are required to use it. All of this could add months to the approval process.
The NHL has yet to make any official statement regarding the plan to implement the new equipment, however Commissioner Gary Bettman, speaking at a World Cup of Hockey event this Wednesday, did state, “It’s still a work in progress, I know our people in hockey operations are working very hard with the players’ association. I am hopeful that we can get it in place because I think it’s important.”
By Jon Sorensen