Over the offseason, in a minor attempt to increase scoring, the NHL mandated shorter leg pads for goalies, meaning that when a butterfly goalie drops in position to make a save, there is a little more room in the "5-hole" for the puck to squeeze through.
Recently, I asked Hurricanes newcomer Anton Khudobin how much of an adjustment it was for him.
"They didn't change much. It's just a bit smaller on top, so you have to close your "5-hole" faster. It is not much difference. A couple of years ago, I had smaller pads so I am used to it. But right now they only took out about half an inch, so there is little difference."
I also asked him what his impressions were of Carolina so far.
"It's been great! They set me up with an apartment the first day, so I just moved right in. The guys have been very warm in welcoming me. I am still getting to know them and the area, and it has just been a short time, but so far everything has been great."
Khudobin, whose family moved from Kazakhstan to Russia, has never had a Russian NHL teammate before, so is very happy to be able to speak the language and joke around at times with Alexander Semin.
Carolina's other goalie also downplayed the pad size change. Cam Ward told Chip Alexander that if anything, he felt a bit more mobile with the shorter pads. Maybe the change will bode well for both netminders.
Check that article out here.
In other news:
The SB Nation NHL Season Preview is now available. In it, I list three of Carolina's strengths as well as three weaknesses. Spoiler alert: Like many others, they select the Canes to finish last in the Metro Division.
The Hurricanes sent out a press release at noonish announcing their intent to reassign Matthew Corrente to Charlotte. The defenseman will have to make it through waivers before it is official. They also put Joni Pitkanen on long term injured reserve, an expected move. This should now free up space on the salary cap for them.
There is some good news to report. Elias Lindholm skated a regular practice today. Semin, Gleason, and of course Ruutu were all still out.