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  • 26 Apr
    Goaltenders have gotten bigger, better and more athletic in recent years and hockey is trying to keep up.Under new NHL rules intended to boost scoring, goalies will have sleeker, more form-fitting pants beginning this season and will also get more compact chest protectors not long after. Those charged with keeping the puck out of the net just want to make sure theyre not more vulnerable to injuries.As a goalie, the only thing you want is to be protected, Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators said. Theres room to take off and room to kind of taper those shoulder pads and pants and whatnot. But hopefully Im sure theyll make everything protective enough that goalies are not going to get hurt.The evolution of goalie equipment from the thin, brown pads that prevailed through the 1980s to the Michelin Man-style monstrosities of the 1990s to now has been a roller-coaster ride. Over the past decade or so, the NHL and NHL Players Association have taken incremental steps to shave down padding, giving skaters a better chance to find the net when they shoot the puck.Stick technology has evolved, too, so even though the average goalie is now 6-foot-2, the league cant just shrink equipment back to levels from 30 years go and watch the red lights and goal horns go off like crazy. Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock complains that goalies are too good now and theres no space because the goalies are bigger than the nets.But its not an easy fix.Its complex because no two goalies are exactly the same size, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. We want them to be safe, and we want them to be protected, but the equipment doesnt have to be so big that it protects the net against the puck.Scoring has hovered around 5.3 goals a game for a few seasons, down from the peak of over seven in 1992 and over six in 2005-06, when new rules were introduced to spark more offense. Criticism about coaching and defenses clogging up play and contributing to that is warranted.Its also one reason why goalies dont believe smaller equipment necessarily will lead to more goals.If guys are giving up goals leaking through their arms that are kind of ugly goals and that increases scoring, is that a good thing? I suppose, said Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils. But if youre still only getting 20 shots a night each way, then I dont think smaller gear is really going to make a difference. I think its a two-fold issue. You want to create goal-scoring by creating a better flow and more shots.NHLPA executive director Don Fehr said goalie equipment is a topic his entire constituency votes on because it affects so much about the sport. The goaltending fraternity is generally in favor of streamlined equipment because it evens the playing field around the league. Former NHL goalie Chris Mason was once questioned by a general manager he played for about why he wore smaller equipment than his counterparts, and hes glad the league is cracking down.You got some skinny guys in there that look absolutely massive, and you have other guys that are wearing it the way youre supposed to wear it, Mason said. It does make a difference because some guys are trying to get every advantage they can get.Most goalies dont want any advantage other than sufficient protection against shots that can come at 100 mph or more. Schneider, who is on the competition committee that considers rule changes, said it is important not to rush the process and create unintended consequences or open the door to injuries.Schneider has his concerns but supports changes to the current equipment.I believe that your goalie should look the way he looks off the ice and that wearing equipment just to take up space is different than wearing equipment to protect, Schneider said. I think thats the goal here is we want to give guys gear that protects them but also fits their bodies and not just eating up space to block pucks.Boston Bruins starter Tuukka Rask is a bit tired that the answer to every goal-scoring question is to resize goalies equipment. But he respects the process the league and players are going through.I think its a great thing what theyre trying to accomplish and as long as they keep goalies involved in discussions I think its good, Rask said. At some point somebody has to say, `Enoughs enough. We have to try to figure something else out than just make the equipment smaller. Im sure theres room for good discussion there.---Follow Stephen Whyno on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SWhyno Cheap Adidas Hockey Jerseys . Soukalova missed only one target and completed the 15-kilometre course in 40 minutes, 32.6 seconds for both victories in this seasons individual discipline. Darya Domracheva of Belarus was second, 34. Wholesale Adidas NHL Jerseys . Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC failed to make the postseason while Montreal Impact fell at the first hurdle losing heavily to Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round. http://www.cheaphockeyjerseyschina.com/ . The Vikings announced Thursday that Priefer will be one of seven holdovers from the previous staff, along with offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, wide receivers coach George Stewart and others. Norv Turner will mark his 30th year of coaching in the NFL as the offensive co-ordinator, as widely reported for weeks, and George Edwards will be the defensive co-ordinator. Adidas NHL Jerseys From China . PAUL, Minn. Wholesale Hockey Jerseys . There are surprises among the Vezina candidates, but most of the others are standard top-tier performers, even if the two Hart Trophy runners-ups have never been quite as good as they have been through the first half of the season. ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota United FC is moving up to Major League Soccer for the 2017 season and will play at TCF Bank Stadium until the team gets a new stadium of its own, league and team officials announced Friday evening.The team will keep its name and its loon logo.Former UnitedHealth CEO Bill McGuire rescued Minnesota United with his purchase of the financially struggling North American Soccer League franchise in 2013. The NASL is a level below MLS, which began to eye the Twin Cities market after seeing Uniteds success under McGuire. MLS last year formally awarded the expansion franchise to McGuire and his group of investors.Beginning with the popular Kicks in the late 1970s, then to the Thunder and the Stars and now United, Minnesota has had several iterations of professional soccer. With growing immigrant populations and an increasing segment of adults ages 18-34, the Twin Cities market has key MLS demographics covered.The ownership groups commitment to soccer and the community, the areas growing millennial population and the regions rich tradition of ssupporting soccer at all levels are key indicators that this will be a very successful MLS market, league commissioner Don Garber said at a news conference.ddddddddddddMcGuire and his partners have pledged to pay the entire bill for a 20,000-seat soccer-specific stadium thats expected to cost about $150 million. But theyre seeking a still-unapproved property tax exemption from the state for the St. Paul site, an abandoned Metro Transit bus barn in the Midway neighborhood.Appearing at the same news conference, Gov. Mark Dayton pledged to keep pushing for that tax break when the Legislature reconvenes next year.The MLS board of governors has expressed support of expansion up to 28 clubs, with a 24-team league by 2020. Twenty clubs are playing this season, with franchises in Atlanta and Los Angeles also set to join in 2017. Miami is in line to be the 24th team, if the David Beckham-backed group can complete plans for a new stadium there. ' ' '