Streamlined goalie pants mandatory as of Saturday
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.
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 NHL.com's Dan Rosen. "It's nuts that it can't wait until the beginning of next season."
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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