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Equipment corner: NHL will mandate ‘minimum safety standards’ for goalie masks, and that’s overdue

Pardon the "equipment corner" note here, but I don't know if you're aware of the fact that NHL goaltenders' masks do not meet HECC or CSA standards for protection (those companies are the "Underwriters' Laboratories of hockey protective equipment") not only because the cat-eye cages aren't "legal" for non-pro-hockey-playing goalies, but also because there are no standards for testing the shells, cages or padding that NHL goaltenders' masks employ.

If a goaltender doesn't like the "ringing in the ears" that Kevlar and Carbon Fiber-based masks yield when they're hit in the temples, they can ask their mask-makers to use fiberglas, which is superb at dampening vibrations but isn't as protective as the other products; NHL goalies have no requirements whatsoever as to how thick their padding must be, what kind of materials they need to use to protect themselves (many goalies are still using masks that use shaved-down pink vinyl nitrile foam, and no player helmets utilize that material any more as it's way, way, way less protective than newer foams).

Per The Score's Justin Cuthbert, it sounds like the NHL's goaltending police will finally demand their goaltenders to protect their heads, starting next season:

That means the masks will be tested to resist impacts, and this is incredibly important not only in terms of protecting goaltenders from shots, but also in terms of demanding that mask-makers make their "lids" more resistant to those player-running-the-goalie impacts that result in concussions.

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damndog's avatar

How about reducing the size of shoulder pads to help limit concussions!

Posted by damndog from The Eastside of Detroit on 06/27/14 at 02:39 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

This topic itself proves what a bunch of hypocrites goalies are.
“We need HUGE equipment for safety! It’s all about safety!
Now if you’ll excuse I’m going to put on this helmet that is completely unsafe and unregulated because protecting the head from 100MPH rubber bullets isn’t necessary, but I definitely need pads that go 4” above my shoulders to protect non-existent skin and bone!”

Posted by Hank1974 on 06/27/14 at 02:56 PM ET


Its painfully obvious that you two, damndog and Hank1974, along with the person who wrote the story, know jack s**t about goalie masks.  The majority of NHL goalies use the Bauer 961.  It is not Hecc or CSA certified because of the cage and the lack of a chin strap(not to be confused with chin cup).  The shell is perfectly capable of doing its job.  Another reason NHL goalie masks are not Hecc or CSA certified is because they are custom molded one off shells which are hand made by mask makers such as Gary Warwick of Warwick Masks and Dom Malerba of Pro’s Choice.  Due to these masks being custom fitted shells to each individual goalie’s head whom wears it, there is no testing that is done on these masks.  This does not mean these masks are not made up to and beyond all standards for protecting the brain and skull of those who wear them.  Fear not, these are among the safest masks on the market due to the fact that they use the best mask making materials…kevlar, carbon fiber, gel coat resins, padding, etc.  Notice there was no fiberglass in that list.  Yea that’s because NHL masks don’t use it as it is no where near as protective as kevlar and carbon fiber.  Another reason NHL masks arent Hecc/CSA certified?  Well, to be honest the whole certification process is a sham.  Some of the most unsafe and unprotective masks are indeed “certified”.  The Itech/Bauer Profile 1200 is a low level Hecc/CSA certified mask that is often referred to as the “Widowmaker” by those of us in the goalie community because of how terribly unprotective the mask is.

Posted by Jimbo35 on 06/29/14 at 08:05 AM ET

Hank1974's avatar

I hear the goalies are switching to these masks next year.
You know, for more “protection”. 
(and yes, I’m doing air-quotes with my hands right now)

Posted by Hank1974 on 06/29/14 at 10:13 AM ET

damndog's avatar


I was speaking about shoulder pads that ALL players wear. Your reading comprehension is murky and I am surmising it is because you only care about pontificating your helmet knowledge of yours.
Well done.

Posted by damndog from The Eastside of Detroit on 06/29/14 at 10:28 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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