Yahoo has a story today that the NHL is very seriously considering bringing bigger nets to the NHL and the process of doing so is further along that most people think. This scares me in a big way because it would once again prove to me that the NHL is clueless. Only simple minded people would think that bringing in bigger nets would solve all of the NHL’s woes. If just scoring a bunch of goals is what people really wanted no one would watch soccer and yet it is the biggest sport everywhere else in the world. If just scoring a bunch of goals is what people really wanted, people would love the NHL All-star game, but people don’t. I have said this a million times. What people want is intensity, passion and fierce competition. People want fancy plays and even great saves, not easy goals. The proper way to have more goals scored is to allow more battles in front of the net. Make the goal crease a little smaller so it make it more difficult for the goalie to come out and cut down all the angles. And most of all, reduce the goalie equipment size even more. I realize the NHL has reduced the size of goalie equipment some but why can’t it be reduced more? Take a look at Billy Smith back in the early 1980’s with the Islanders and Martin Gerber this season with teh Senators.
I chose Martin Gerber (6’0″, 185lbs) because he is one of the smaller goalies in the NHL today and fairly close to the size that Billy Smith (5’10”, 185lbs) was. Gerber’s goalie pads are an inch or two wider and go all the way up to his waste and aren’t tightly tied to his legs so he can better cover the ice when he drops to his knees. Plus, Gerber’s shoulder pads probably rise 3″ above his actual shoulders. The NHL needs to implement a rule that goalie pads are primarily for safty and not for stopping pucks and that they should be no bigger than is absolutely necessary to protect the goalie from the puck and that the be securely tied to the legs. Let’s give that a try before messing with bigger nets, especially those ugly rounded nets.
The NHL has one of the richest histories of any sport. Lets not mess with it too much.