Goaltender Equipment Will Shrink for 2016-17 Season

It appears to be all but a done deal following discussions at the annual GM meeting in Boca Raton, Florida: Goaltender equipment will be streamlined for the 2016-17 season.

The reports come out of Day 2 of the GM meetings, with team managers looking for ways to increase scoring across the league. “Sense is it’s full steam ahead with streamlined goalie equipment,” ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported, adding that it appears that both the NHL and NHLPA are “on [the] same page” about the need to shrink goaltender equipment again.

The debate has been debated all season with goaltenders like Ryan Miller saying that it won’t make a difference, while others — such as Buffalo’s Robin Lehner — coming out in favor of pad reduction.

Details on the reduction remain scarce, but the project is being headed up by NHL goaltender equipment guru Kay Whitmore, who will be aided by former Flyers goaltender Rob Zepp. NHL.com’s Shawn Roarke saird Whitmore confirmed Tuesday that the NHLPA, goaltenders and equipment manufacturers are all “on board with changes.”

Whitmore also says that they plan on having new equipment in the hands of goaltenders by the summer, giving them time to train in the new equipment. That may mean we see the new equipment in action as soon as this fall’s World Cup of Hockey.

Whitmore has previously noted that most goaltenders are on board with streamlining, as long as it doesn’t come at the expense of safety.

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