One of the focuses this offseason for the rules comittee surrounded goalie pads, specifically trying to reduce the size of them. The NHL and NHLPA have been going over the matter this summer and it appears that they might have come to a solution, at least temporarily.
With increasing goal scoring as the driving force, the NHL will get a reduction on goalie pads for next season according to Kevin Woodley of InGoal Magazine and NHL.com.
Told NHL gets its 10% reduction on goalie pad knee-to-thigh allowance (~2" avg) but PA balked at enforcing thigh rise separately with 8" max— Kevin Woodley (@KevinisInGoal) August 7, 2013
So reduction becomes part of total max pad height. Some G found ways to push more of total # up leg + into 5-hole. That continues ...for now— Kevin Woodley (@KevinisInGoal) August 7, 2013
In other words, the pads might be smaller for next season but that might not necessarily mean the five hole will be bigger. It will be a work in progress but it's tough to do much more at this point with the season already nearing.
We got the first tip-off that something was done on the pad front or at least close to it when Henrik Lundqvist posted a picture of his new pads earlier this week.
After new league rules my pads are now a little shorter. Not sure how it will affect my game. Hopefully I'll be faster.. :)
Remember, though, this won't be the last we hear about this. The upcoming season will likely serve as somewhat of a pilot run with the new pads and the discussion should continue regarding other pieces of equipment such as knee pads. Woodley expects that those will be reduced by the 2014-15 season but not sooner than that.
Change is on the way, we'll have to see if the scoring follows.