Hot topics at GMs meetings
When the NHL general managers congregate Wednesday for their crammed one-day meeting in Toronto, the issue of goalie growth -- both in body size and equipment size -- will be raised.
And the group won't have to look further than one of its own for the point to be driven home.
"My general manager used to be a goalie, have you seen the size of him? No really. Have you seen the size of the goalies?" Red Wings coach Mike Babcock asked when posed the question as to whether or not it was time to shrink goalie equipment again.
"If the goalies [are] getting bigger then the net is getting smaller. By refusing to change you are changing. Purists would say you can't do it because you're changing the game but by not changing you are changing the game."
Ken Holland, Babcock's boss as the Red Wings general manager, was listed at 5-foot-8, 160 pounds during his NHL goalie playing days. Detroit's starting goalie now, Jimmy Howard, isn't considered especially big for a goalie but he's still 6-foot. Howard's backup is 6-3 Swede Jonas Gustavsson.
Babcock's solution? A bigger net.
"It's real easy," he continued. "You go down the street, you get some stats grad student, he does a little formula -- the average [goalie] size in the '80s ... the average size now. Boom. You change it in six minutes and we can get on with our life."
The general managers aren't expected to go too far down that road Wednesday even if some are in favor of bigger nets; instead the focus will be on trimming the equipment. But even that will be met with resistance. Here's a look at the biggest issues and obstacles facing the GMs during their one-day meeting and some notes on what might be the unofficial start of the NHL's trade season:
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