This is one of my favorite things when it comes to international play. Goalies just decking their pads out for their country. Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling was the latest to use his pillows as a canvas, going with a stars and stripes design for the upcoming World Championships that are being played in Denmark. Darling was selected as one of the goalies for the tournament along with Keith Kinkaid of the Devils and Charlie Lindgren of the Canadiens. But I want to talk about the Darling’s pads and why there aren’t more goalies in the NHL doing this.
Hockey needs more personality. It something that can’t be stressed enough. One of the reasons people talk about the NBA so much is because of all the different and outgoing personalities. So why not start with the pads? Why don’t more goalies do this? The pads are a blank canvas. You can put anything you want on them. Have you seen the Saturday Are For The Boys pads or the Barstool themed pads in the barstool office? They are unbelievable.
And I wish more goalies did this. Even if more goalies just started putting their team logo on their pads, or phrases like SAFTB, or anything that will get people talking about the game. And it’s not like goalies aren’t doing it. You see goalies at the junior, AHL, and international level breaking out crazy pads. Which confuses me as to why it isn’t carried over into the NHL?
I think sooner or later we will start to see more of it in the NHL. Goalie pads are becoming easier and easier to customize and change at will. I mean, Tuukka Rask just got a new set of pads before the Tampa series. Changing pads in the playoffs 20 years ago would be completely unheard of. So baby steps, I guess.