With the puck about to drop on the 2013-14 NHL season, we recently covered all of this season's uniform and logo changes. But we didn't include anything about the goalies, who comprise a special category and deserve their own column. So today we'll be paying close attention to NHL netminders.
For starters, it's worth noting that there's a new rule this season limiting how much a goalie's leg pad can rise above his knee. This rule, which is designed to increase scoring, has resulted in many goalies losing an inch or two off the top of their pads, as you can see in this photo of Senators goalie Craig Anderson's pads from this season and last season. As you might expect, many goalies aren't happy about it, although they seem resigned to this being the new reality.
OK, now it's time for Uni Watch's annual goalie-by-goalie look at the upcoming season. We're once again privileged to have had the assistance of longtime NHL insider Tyler Hull, who works in the goalie gear industry. In the chart that follows, you can click on each goalie's name to see his current pads, glove and blocker, and then Tyler has provided commentary on each netminder's gear. (As you'll see, he prefers bold color schemes and absolutely hates solid-white pads.) When available, we've also provided links for the goalies who've released new mask designs. The result is the most comprehensive look at the current state of goalie aesthetics that you're likely to find.
Ready? Here we go:
Did we miss anything? Hey, it's been known to happen. Send revisions, corrections and additional info here.
(Special thanks to Tyler Hull, David Hutchinson, and Kevin Woodley for their research assistance on this column.)
Paul Lukas still dreams of being a goalie when he grows up. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted, or just ask him a question? Contact him here.