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Streamlined goalie pants mandatory as of Saturday

Geoff Burke / Reuters

Starting now, every NHL goaltender is going to look a little thinner as the league's new streamlined goalie pants became mandatory Saturday.

Several netminders have expressed concern about the tighter, more form-fitting gear, which they've had an opportunity to test out in games before this weekend.

Related - Crawford: Better ice, not smaller goalie gear, increases scoring

Arizona Coyotes netminder Mike Smith was the most vocal critic.

"I think to have an equipment change midseason, it's crazy, especially in the goaltending position," he said, according to's Dan Rosen. "It's nuts that it can't wait until the beginning of next season."

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray likened the new pants to "skinny jeans," according to Sam Werner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The NHL originally planned to make the new pants compulsory prior to the start of the season, but senior director of hockey operations Kay Whitmore told Rosen that safety concerns delayed the mandatory rollout.

Goalies who refuse to don the new equipment will be subject to a two-game suspension, their teams will be fined $25,000, and the offending club's equipment manager will be docked $1,000, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

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