Trevor Leahy is looking for every advantage in the net, including designing his own camouflaged equipment. Photo by Christopher Muise
Trevor Leahy looks and sounds like a pretty unassuming high school kid, and as of last week you’d probably never heard of him. Even now you might not recognize his name or face but you’ve probably read about him in the news this week… he’s the high school kid who designed goalie gloves and pads to look just like the net he’s guarding. It seems like such a simple idea that you can’t help but ask yourself “why didn’t someone think of that before?”. Others have thought about how the color of goalie equipment affects where the shooter looks but nobody thought of pure camouflage before this teenager started thinking about what his new pads should look like. Trevor took some time to talk with TendersLounge after his practice this afternoon.
TendersLounge: It’s been quite a week for you!
Trevor Leahy: Yeah, it’s been pretty crazy. It just kind of blew up and took me by surprise!
If the size of goalie equipment is up for review can we negotiate trappers the size of the one in this shooter tutor? I can almost see the entire ad through the glove cutout. Speaking of which, why are the Jackets players being encouraged to shoot INTO the goalie’s glove? Thanks to Tapeleg at Jerseys and Hockey Love for taking this shot at the Blue Jacket’s training camp. One question: how do you have a shortage of goalies at training camp??? The 70:1 odds I saw last week in Vegas are looking pretty accurate right now for the Jacket’s chances of winning the Cup.
Couple cools shots of the Wild’s Niklas Bacstrom Josh Harding being a video game dummy with Dion Phaneuf. This could be an equipment rule that goalies could agree to… paste targets to our gear so players shoot at us instead of open net.
UPDATE: thanks to TL reader Smart Goalie (who appears to live up to his name) for pointing out that these photos feature Josh Harding and not Nik Backstrom as previously reported in this post. Shame on me for not even noticing the lefty-righty difference but kudos to Smart Goalie for picking up the difference in equipment (TPS for Harding and Vaughan for Backstrom).
Brian Heaton, more so than any other person on this planet, revolutionized modern goalie equipment. He passed away this week after suffering a heart attack at the age of 58.
In my opionion Heaton’s greatest innovation was the introduction of man-made materials to the manufacturing process. Remember Cooper’s Durasoft line of goalie gear? (see photo of Mike Vernon in previous post) That was all Heaton. Today we can’t imagine a goalie wearing anything but equipment in his or her team colors but that’s only because Heaton thought of using colored materials on a wide-scale basis. He was more than a friend to goalies though as he also revolutionized skaters’ protection with the invention of the Cooperall. Yes, the long shell was ultimately booed out of the hockey world but today’s player pants bear a strong resemblance to the original girdle designed by Heaton. Continue reading
Gary Bettman has decreed that goalie equipment is (still) too big. Bettman has become a whipping boy for fans in every city (have you ever seen him cheered when he comes out to present the Stanley Cup?) and even though I strongly disagree with his insistence that home teams wear road jerseys I do agree with him on goalie equipment. I suppose I should automatically disagree because I’m a goalie but he’s right.
Take a look at Henrik Lunqvist’s pads… they’re so big they’re protecting each other! I’m 6′ tall and wear 34″ pads so how does a 6’1″ keeper need 38″ pads? Yes, players today shoot exponentially harder than they did just 20 years ago when everyone was using a wooden shaft. The increased velocity of shots today is similar to the increased velocity of tennis serves when comparing wooden racquets to today’s composite ones. So today’s NHL goalies need better protection than ever before. But “better” is not the same as “more”.
ESPN’s John Buccigross has campaigned for larger nets in order to increase scoring. There’s not a goalie in the world who will support that idea… from the looks of this protype I forsee a lot of shots at my head! Not to mention where I’ll put my water bottle. So the onus will be on the Goalie’s Union to support smaller equipment as its contribution to increased scoring. There’s no reason for equipment to make a save, it should just protect the body part that is making the save.