NHL goalies making adjustments to new controversial chest protector – Yahoo Sports

NHL goalies making adjustments to new controversial chest protector originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

SAN JOSE — Over the course of a 12-year career as an NHL goalie, Sharks goaltending coach Johan Hedberg said he only changed his chest protector twice. 

“The one when I retired, there was nothing left,” Hedberg said in a phone interview with NBC Sports California. “[It was] like a wet sweater pretty much.”

Were he still playing, Hedberg would wear his third this season. Goalies around the league are wearing new, streamlined chest protectors under an updated rule from the NHL and the NHLPA in an effort to increase scoring and enforce uniform standards among netminders. The chest protector is the latest piece of goalie equipment to be regulated, following the shrinking of the leg pads and pants. 

Specifically, the chest and arm pads “must be anatomically proportional and size-specific” based on the goalies’ bodies. The result is more form-fitting, with slimmed down arms and strict regulations for padding around the shoulders and collarbone.

“Everybody’s got the same, level playing field,” Hedberg said. “I see no [downside] on shrinking some of the stuff, and just making it smarter where you do have the protection, but you’re not covering anything but your body.”

Early in the season, some goalies have questioned whether or not there is still enough protection, specifically in the arms and shoulders. 

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky told the Columbus Dispatch last month he had bruised arms and elbows for the first time in his career, and called the changes “terrible.” Goalies Braden Holtby, Brian Elliott, and James Reimer, among others, have also shared safety concerns.

Greg Balloch, a writer for the goalie-centric publication InGoal Magazine, saw this coming to some degree. This summer, he watched AHL goalie Ken Appleby in the new chest protector take a routine shot from an

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