Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Darren Dreger of the Dreger Report at TSN,
I touched on this story Thursday in Insider Trading. Slowly, but surely, the NHL is making headway in its quest to fit goalies with anatomically appropriate equipment. The league had hoped to have the equipment adjustments completed in time for the start of the season, but red tape, manufacturing complications and buy-in from the goalie fraternity required more time.
A more size-sensitive pant is currently being distributed to NHL goaltenders as they are made available to the league by the manufacturer. A number of goalies have the new pants, but they are not allowed to use them until every goalie in the league has been supplied with the fitted protection. Once every goaltender has the pant, they will be allowed to practise with them over a short period of time before the change is introduced into regular-season play.
There is no official time frame on when the change will be implemented, however a source involved in the process says it should be completed in the near future.
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
As the 2016-17 season looms, there remains much to settle regarding pending changes to goalie equipment.
The tighter, more form-fitting pants will be worn…once everyone gets them. The hope is that’s in time for Wednesday. But it’s possible that doesn’t occur since Reebok/CCM ships from China and Bauer from Thailand. But goalies recognize this is going to happen early in the season.
The more contoured chest/shoulder protection? That’s an uncertain target.
Kay Whitmore, the NHL’s goaltending supervisor, declined to discuss the situation. A current NHL goalie, who says he’s in favour of the changes, said he “can’t believe how difficult” this process is.
One of the biggest challenges turned out to be with the equipment companies. There are four primarily involved in producing goalie equipment: Bauer, Brian’s, Reebok/CCM and Vaughn. (The latter two are the dominant retailers when it comes to pants and the chest protector.)
continued plus 30 Thoughts...
from Matt Higgins of the New York Post,
The N.H.L. and the players’ union are in the process of overhauling standards governing the size and design of goaltenders’ equipment. They plan to roll out slimmer-fitting pants and chest protectors and beefed-up enforcement during the coming season, which begins next Wednesday.
“It’s basically, we want to have fairness that your gear shouldn’t make you a better player, giving you an advantage over your athleticism,” said Mathieu Schneider, special assistant to the executive director of the players’ union. “The idea is that it creates more goal scoring as well.”
Despite an increased emphasis on calling obstruction penalties to open up the game, scoring has remained flat, and the league and the players’ union continue to tinker with rules. In the meantime, goaltenders continue to get bigger and better at stopping the puck.
Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning is 6 feet 7. The only expected No. 1 goaltender on an N.H.L. club who is shorter than 6 feet is Jaroslav Halak of the Islanders, who is 5-11. During the past 10 seasons, only one goalie under 6 feet — 5-11 Tim Thomas, with the Boston Bruins in 2008-9 and 2010-11 — has won the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the N.H.L.’s top goaltender.
“If he’s not 6-foot-1, 6-foot-2, in the draft, you don’t even look at him unless he’s really special,” said Martin Brodeur, assistant general manager for the St. Louis Blues.
Imagine walking into a sports super store and seeing some of your favorite NHL players Well here is your opportunity brought to you by Sport Chek.
Head over to the Sport Chek's Facebook Live Desk at their Maple Leaf Square location (15 York Street) to check out a very impressive guest list.
Who: Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lighting
When: Monday, September 19 at 2 p.m. ET
Who: Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers
When: Tuesday, September 20 at 5 p.m. ET
Who: Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames
When: Thursday, September 22 at 3 p.m. ET
Sport Chek continues to provide authentic, real-time content which resonates with their fans. This is why they've converted a traditional in-store broadcast desk into a Facebook Live studio, giving their customers the ability to engage and interact with their favorite hockey players, both live in-store and on Facebook Live.
They also have a slew of videos at their YouTube page all bringing a positive image the players, both professional and amateur and also those who watch them perform.
My favorite which I have posted before, is below which I call meeting Steven Stamkos.
from Tom Perrotta of the Wall Street Journal,
When Ben Bishop, the goalie for the Tampa Bay Lightning, received his new mask last year, he had a thought. The mask had a splotch of glow-in-the-dark paint on it, about the size of a quarter. Bishop liked it. A lot. So he called David Gunnarsson, the NHL’s mask maestro, with a question.
“I asked if we could make the whole thing glow,” Bishop said. “That was the first one in the league like that.”
Painted masks have a long history in the NHL. Gerry Cheevers, who drew black stiches on his white fiberglass faceplate, is known as the first player to doctor his mask, in the 1960s. Ken Dryden’s mask looked like a bulls-eye with Montreal’s colors. Ed Belfour’s mask had an eagle; Curtis Joseph, nicknamed CuJo, wore a mask with a rabid dog inspired by the Stephen King novel of the same name.
In today’s NHL, pretty much every goalie has a custom mask, except the details, themes, and colors are wilder and more intricate than ever. That’s because of Gunnarsson, a 39-year-old self-taught artist who lives in Sweden.
from the CP at the Globe and Mail,
NHL goaltending equipment will be shrinking again soon.
Starting next season, NHL goalies will be will wearing equipment better suited to body size with strict new enforcements coming into place. Former goaltender Kay Whitmore presented the impending changes Tuesday morning, the second day of the annual GM meetings.
Whitmore says the change comes at the urging of some of the league’s top netminders who want to show it’s their skill and not the increasingly larger equipment that makes them effective.
from Michael Traikos at the Toronto Sun,
(Kay) Whitmore’s goal is to make the equipment more representative of a player’s individual body type. He wants chest protectors that cling to the arms and shoulder rather than hang like drapes and for the pants to be more like what Justin Bieber, not MC Hammer, would wear.
Ultimately, he wants goalies to look different from one another. And, for a change, goalies want the same thing.
“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.”
At the all-star game in Nashville, Whitmore presented prototypes of the new equipment to Schneider, the New Jersey Devils backstopper, Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals, and Tampa Bay Lightning's Ben Bishop. They hated it. Not because it was too small, but because it wasn’t small enough.
“The PA and I weren’t super happy,” Whitmore said. “It wasn’t what we were looking for and the goalies agreed. Cory Schneider said it best: ‘It’s hard to explain what we’re asking them to do, but when we see it we’ll know.’”
The problem here is two-fold: in order to have equipment that is contoured to the natural shapes of the body, you have to physically measure every single goaltender to see what sizes they should be wearing. Then, you have to have to convince each equipment manufacturers — Bauer, CCM-Reebok, Brian’s and Vaughan — to design padding that simply protects the goalie rather than gives them an edge in eliminating the five-hole.
Corey Hirsch explains how to make goalie equipment smaller without sacrificing protection, and how that can lead to more goals.
Great use of before and after graphics and what Hirsch says makes sense.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
There's still lots of work to be done but Cory Schneider, Ben Bishop, Braden Holtby and Devan Dubnyk on Thursday met with Kay Whitmore of the NHL to look at the prototype pants and chest equipment produced by a few manufacturers.
The idea is to have the equipment wrap around their body in a sleeker manner while still keeping them safe, while also being less bulky and therefore give shooters a little more net to shoot at.
"That's the idea, to round everything off, you don't need the big blocks on the shoulders and the thighs," Holtby said Friday.
"It's pretty early, it was basically the equipment company's first attempt at it," Holtby added when asked about his first impression after sampling the product. "I think they understand what we're trying to get done. It's pretty clear. There's a lot of tough areas though that you want to make sure is protected. It's in the right direction but I think it's a long ways away from where it needs to be. But it'll get there."
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Initially, Kapsalis contacted Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute via former athletic director Jim Knowlton, a longtime friend. A team of approximately 20 engineering students tried to devise safer boards. They did not arrive at a solution.
Next, Kapsalis cold-called Dean Sicking, an engineering professor at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Sicking is well known in automobile safety. He is the former director of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, a research organization at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Sicking developed the SAFER barriers used in motorsports to absorb and distribute energy in high-speed crashes. He has influenced highway guardrail technology.
“I picked up the phone, which I don’t normally do,” Sicking recalled. “He had this idea for hockey boards, which he pitched to me over the phone. It was interesting. I told him, ‘In the last 6-7 years, I’ve had over 100 calls like this. I’ve taken 2-3 of them. Don’t get your hopes up.’ He came down two weeks later to Nebraska to meet and pitch the idea to me.”
Kapsalis’s proposal interested Sicking. The issue with current systems is how they move. CheckFlex, the one mostly used in NHL rinks, moves at the top along with the glass. But the boards do not give at approximately 12 to 18 inches off the ground, the height at which headfirst impact typically occurs.
“What we wanted with a wall that can move and displace was a wall that can reduce the force level and extend the duration of the event,” said Cody Stolle, research assistant professor at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, who worked with Sicking on the SAFIR Hockey design. “By doing both, you’re reducing the load on the body and decreasing the likelihood of acceleration that can cause spinal injury or concussion.”
more plus other hockey topics...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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