9/30/2005 5:41:52 PM
The new National Hockey League is considering yet another major change in time for the start of this regular season.
TSN has learned that all 30 NHL franchises received new jerseys Friday for their goaltenders and while it's a longshot, fans could see them in game action on opening night.
The shirts are streamlined in a continued effort to reduce the amount of net they cover, and maybe even more significantly, they are different in colour and pattern like goalkeeper jerseys in soccer and would not match the rest of the team.
New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist experimented with a practice version of the new jersey (pictured) in the warmup prior to Thursday's preseason game against the New York Islanders. (see the link)
Talk of the new sweaters began at the general managers' meetings in Detroit as discussions surrounded the reduction in size of goalie equipment. They left with a consensus to reduce gloves, blockers and pads and the manufacturers would look into creating a more streamlined sweater. The manufacturers made it clear that the tigher version would not look like a team's current sweaters, but the NHL gave them the green light to proceed anyway.
The arrival of the sweaters Friday morning was met with mixed reaction.
Some franchises reacted quite positively, recognizing the marketing potentional in creating a "goalie sweater" taking a page from the huge success of soccer. However, there's been plenty of negative reaction as well.
A number of general managers argue that there has already been so much change to the game that this would be too much, too soon, not to mention the fact that goalies will have little or not time to get used to playing in the new sweater.
"It may be too late to introduce the new steamlined sweater in time for this season," an NHL official told TSN.
"But rest assured, it is coming."
It isn't the first time this year that hockey jerseys have been re-designed dramatically.
In August, Canada's Olympic and world junior teams received new sweaters designed to be cooler, lighter and make the players faster.
...all a little odd to think about but i'd like to see how it looks first...
AkumaMember Since 28 Jun 2005
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