Kari Lehtonen, Dale Weise

NHL looking at more goalie equipment reductions for 2013-14


Last week, a report surfaced claiming the NHLPA had approved the NHL’s recommendation to decrease goalie pad height for the upcoming season.

Now, it appears more reductions could be on the way.

Speaking with In Goal Magazine, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said additional equipment reductions — specifically, measurement regulations and kneepad contouring — will be brought before the NHLPA and possibly implemented for the start of the season.

“We have the Players’ Association commitment to going back to the goaltender group on kneepads and some of the other additions that [NHL goalie equipment czar] Kay Whitmore has in mind to do,” Daly explained. “It is an ongoing process.

“We are going to get some movement this year with respect to goaltending equipment, but it’s going to continue to be a work in progress.”

As mentioned above, the NHLPA already OKed downsizing the height of goalie pads, which would essentially create larger five holes for shooters (for a lengthy, detailed explanation, click here.)

The issue with more changes to goalie pads is timing.

Equipment manufacturers need time to make these pads and, with specifics and regulations still not set in stone, producing legal gear in time for the start of the season could prove difficult.

That said, Daly and Whitmore see it differently.

“On Kneepads, what [Whitmore] wants to do, as I understand it, is not a manufacturing issue,” Daly said. “So if we get goaltender buy-in, it is something we can actually implement for next season.”

For more on all the specifics the NHL is proposing for next season, check out the full article at In Goal.

After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
Leave a comment

Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”

Virtanen to make NHL debut tonight versus Kings

Jake Virtanen
1 Comment

Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.

“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”

Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.

The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.

If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.