Picking on pads
The big changes are expected next year when the league is expected to go to proportionate sizing for the first time, meaning equipment will be based on goalie's size and weight.
It will have a significant impact on smaller goalies. Consider that currently Curtis Sanford, at five-foot-10, wears the same size pads as Luongo, who is 6-3.
Sanford was one of only five netminders under 5-foot-11 in the NHL last season (Legace, Dubielewicz, Toskala and Osgood are the others) and there were 20 goalies listed at 6-foot-3 or taller.
Consider the new equipment restrictions just another push in that direction.
The pad changes for this coming season sound more like minor tinkering than anything — although I suppose keeping tabs on various flaps and bulges is better than the alternative.
I honestly think there's going to be a limit to how much bulk they can take away from netminders without opening them to more injuries, as one of the reasons they look like Michelin men is that the puck is shot so much harder these days (with more regularity) than 20 years ago.
We've already seen some equipment alterations result in injuries to goaltenders, which obviously isn't a desirable outcome.
It's interesting, too, that we're hearing more and more players advocate for larger nets.