NHL Goalie Equipment: Why It Needs To Stay Big—Not Smaller

If you were an NHL goalie would you want smaller equipment based upon how fast and hard players can shoot the puck, whether it's a blazing slap shot, or a hard snap or wrist shot?

The talent level in today's NHL is heads above what it was; not just many decades ago, but within the last 5 years. And along with that the talent and skill level of goalies has skyrocketed as well.

Going back to the question I asked in the first paragraph—would you want smaller equipment if you were in the NHL?

I would say they don't want smaller equipment if they don't want to be injured. The second reason they want to do this is the lack of scoring in today's NHL. It's entertainment value they're looking at.

If they want more scoring they better have better snipers in today's NHL. That's all there is to it. It takes practice, practice, practice. If they aren't willing to do that then the NHL will most likely have the major companies who produce goalie equipment, reduce the size of pads, chest protectors, arm pads and even the size of protective pants.

Ex-NHL player Nick Kypreos chimed in on this and talked about the glove, and when it was used as a catching glove. He talked about the goalies in the 70's who actually used the glove to catch pucks. In today's NHL it seems to be used as a blocker, like the blocker on the other hand. This I do agree with Kypreos on, but only on this.

I must reiterate what I said before, if you reduce the size of protective goalie equipment, you risk injury that much more because of the ability of players to shoot the puck well over 100 miles per hour, and very hard.

Here is what I think should be done with the goalie equipment. By the way if they reduce the size of goalie equipment for NHL goalies that the same will done for minor pro leagues, top junior leagues and every other league that major goalie equipment makers produce.

Here is what they should do with current goalie equipment. They should redesign the equipment so it's not as bulky and more streamlined. Not make it smaller. The same level of protection needs to be kept.
That way you reduce the numbers of injuries.

The Pet Peeve Of NHL Goalie Equipment: The Size Of Pads

This has been a thorn in the side of players, NHL officials and every other person who's against large and bulky goalie equipment which supposedly reduces the ability of players to get the puck past a goalie and into the net.

The size of actual goalie pads has decreased over the years and the Collective Bargaining Agreement, or CBA has lets face it, dictated that a cap on the width of a goalie pad. That width limit is 28 centimeters. Or for those in the USA, almost 12 inches.

That I don't have an issue width. The pad width that is. Where I have an issue is the length of the goalie pad. Yes, I realize there is an actual knee pad they wear underneath the pad to protect against errant pucks making their way between the goalie pad and the knee. There has even been some controversy on the size of the internal knee pad being too big. But goalie pads need to be bulkier in the knee area for protection purposes. Or streamlined design wise. Not smaller height wise. A goalie can't win in the NHL anymore.

Protection doesn't seem to be the riding factor anymore. Entertainment value for the bucks fans shell out does. That's all fine and good. But where the issue is, is having proper protection.

The Height Limit On Goalie Pads:

Here's some more craziness, or lunacy set forth by the supposed brain trust of the NHL, limiting the height of goalie pads. Five years ago the NHL put into place a rule where the pads could only be 55 percent of the distance between the center of a goalie's knee and their pelvis.

Basically a leg pad can go only halfway up the thigh, and that's why I think you require more protection from goalie pants. The powers that be in the NHL don't seem to understand the absolute necessity of total protection for goalies.

By the way the limit on the height of goalie pads was reduced another 10 percent, to 45 percent in the last two years. Pure nonsense.

And at times goalie pads and equipment have been measured by NHL officials at random. Almost like out of the blue audits by the tax man.

It's almost like, ”Here I am NHL, come measure my equipment.”

Next, they'll be measuring the length and width of a goalie mask and neck protector to see it falls within league measurements and parameters.

In ending, two things need to happen here. Players have to be better shooters. They shoot harder than ever, but can't hit the open pockets of the net a goalie does not cover. That means practice, all the time.

This may be a bit of lunacy on my part, but why not have a coach for shooting? Why not?

As for the size of equipment, like I said it has to be redesigned and streamlined, and not made smaller.

I live in a city where one of the major manufacturers of NHL goalie equipment is, and I actually should do an interview with them, and find out their thoughts on all of this.

But one piece of equipment that needs reshaping and design is the goalie mitt, glove, what ever you want to call it, so goalies aren't using it mainly as a blocker, and are actually catching pucks. One other thing as far as streamlining and redesigning goes, it will make it easier for mobility purposes if pads, chest protector and arm pads are redesigned as well.


I played goalie in minor hockey in the 70's, and understand the need for protection even if the NHL wants to keep it's head in the sand.