THN.com Blog: Listen to Sid and shrink the goalie equipment

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Hockey’s most powerful personality may not know his own strength yet, but everyone around him hangs on his every word.

Like E.F. Hutton, when Sidney Crosby speaks, people listen. Crosby is the NHL’s best marketing tool: the league wants him playing in every NHL city every season and is doing what it can to balance the schedule.

So when Crosby told The Hockey News recently he thinks the NHL should take further steps to reduce the size of goalie equipment, you know the league heard the echoes over and over again.

If and when the league takes further steps to make goalie equipment the streamlined dimensions it was during the live-puck era of the 1980s, maybe it’ll be Crosby we can thank.

So it was surprising to hear the news Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo is playing with two small extra knee flaps, which extend outside the allowable 11-inch width of each pad near the knee.

For protection, of course.

The fact Luongo’s getting away with this is astonishing. Even Dallas goalies Marty Turco and Mike Smith made light of the extra flaps by donning exaggerated cardboards flaps of their own in mock jest, of course.

Goalie equipment needs to get smaller, not bigger. Rather than experimenting with larger nets, the league needs to make a concerted effort to reduce the dimensions on goalie equipment.

The comparison has already been made that police officers can wear bullet-proof vests that, for the most part, don’t make them stand out like home-plate umpires. So why can’t hockey equipment manufacturers make goalie equipment that protects them from flying pucks?

The easy answer is they can. It’s the goalies who are asking for equipment that matches the maximum NHL size requirements.

NHL, you know what to do next. Listen to Sidney, the most powerful man in hockey.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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