Remember when goalies were really small? No? Well, you must be young then. Because they used to be a lot smaller.
Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock remembers those days. In fact, his boss, Detroit general manager Ken Holland, was one of those small goalies.
“My general manager used to be a goalie, have you seen the size of him?” Babcock told ESPN’s Craig Custance recently. “No really. Have you seen the size of the goalies?”
Babcock’s point: something has to be done to get goal-scoring back to the levels the NHL experienced in the days of the small goalie. Whether it’s shrinking the size of equipment or — gasp — increasing the size of the net.
“If the goalies [are] getting bigger then the net is getting smaller,” Babcock said. “By refusing to change you are changing. Purists would say you can’t do it because you’re changing the game but by not changing you are changing the game.”
NHL general managers, including Holland, are meeting in Toronto today to discuss, among many other things, the size of goalie equipment and how it may be reduced safely.
By the way, here’s a picture of Holland (5-foot-8, 160 pounds) when he was playing goal for the Wings in the early 1980s (via The Goalies Archive):
And here’s current Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (6-foot-0, 210 pounds):