Bettman: Size matters when it comes to goalie equipment
DETROIT -- Marc-Andre Fleury has switched from yellow goaltender's pads to white.
This offseason, size will be much more of an issue than color.
"We're going to take a long, good look at goaltending equipment," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final.
"There's a committee that's been formed jointly with the players' association to do that. The competition committee will meet shortly after the goaltender committee meets."
An average of 5.6 goals were scored per game in the regular season, up from 5.1 per game in 2003-04, the final season prior to the lockout, but down from the 5.9 per game scored in 2006-07.
NHL teams averaged 6.17 goals per game in 2005-06, the first season after the lockout.
"There are two reasons that this (goaltender) committee should be more effective," Bettman said. "No. 1, the players' association is now more focused than it's been for the last couple of years on doing business.
"And this is a committee where we've appointed former players who happen to be general managers. And we've got shooters and goalies, and the players' association has shooters and goalies. I think this is going to be the best attempt that can be made to deal with goaltender equipment.
"If the committee is unsuccessful, then we'll have to go to Plan B, which I don't know what it is yet, but there will be one."
Bettman said he is concerned about uniformity and consistency in goaltender's equipment as well as size.
"I think all goaltenders should be on equal footing," Bettman said. "I think if you're a goaltender who is wearing smaller equipment, you shouldn't necessarily have to play against a player who is more aggressive in terms of what he's wearing when he's wearing stuff that maybe isn't necessarily for his protection but is being used as a way to help keep pucks out of the net. That's not what the safety element of goaltender equipment was for.
"Goal-scoring is down a drop. Goaltenders are bigger, both physically and by the equipment they wear. And I wouldn't mind if there was a little more open space to be shot at."
Among the other subjects broached by Bettman was the NHL's plan for a second outdoor game, to be played in 2008-09.
The Penguins and Buffalo Sabres played outdoors at Ralph Wilson Stadium in January.
Bettman said the venue and participating teams for "Winter Classic II" will be announced shortly but shot down the possibility of the Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers playing annually at Penn State's Beaver Stadium.
"I can't envision right now a scenario where we would have two teams play annually outdoors," Bettman said. "We think the outdoor game was spectacular. We think it was special and needs to stay special. We're not going to overdo it.
"The possibility of having the Penguins play the Flyers at some point in Happy Valley is intriguing, and it's on the list of possibilities that we will explore. I would like to see the 'Battle of Pennsylvania' at Penn State, and we hope to make it a reality at some point. But I have trouble as I sit here tonight envisioning doing that every year, especially because there are going to be other places that want the outdoor game."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: Carcillo has no hard feelings after failing to make roster
- Pens look to buck shots, goals trend
- Predators winger Neal caught ‘blindsided’ by trade from Penguins
- Penguins notebook: Malkin returns to center
- Penguins notebook: Johnston blends music, practice for local students
- Testing legs, giving backup goalie a chance are Penguins’ priorities
- Bortuzzo could provide much-needed physical presence for Penguins
- Penguins notebook: Newcomers get 1st taste of rivalry with Flyers
- Flyers continue mastery of Penguins at Consol
- Metropolitan Division holding own in early part of season