TORONTO - Those goalie pants - the ones with the large thigh guards that often expanded outwards when a goalie went down to stop a puck - are history.
Luckily, the Hockey Hall of Fame is in the business of preserving that history.
On Wednesday, while the Blues were in Toronto to play the Maple Leafs, Blues Equipment Manager Bert Godin made a special delivery to the Hockey Hall of Fame, donating Blues goalie Jake Allen's old pants for a display that will show the evolution of hockey equipment over the past century of NHL hockey.
The new pants goalies are required to wear are tighter, more form-fitting and more rounded. According to Kay Whitmore, the NHL's senior director of hockey operations and goaltender equipment, the pants feature a defined thigh guard that was reduced from 10 inches to nine, and the leg's curve is tighter and won't expand outwards.
The NHL Board of Governors voted for the equipment regulation last June, and goalies were required to make the switch mid-season before the Feb. 4 deadline.
"Our goalies have noticed that the big difference from the former style to the new style is rebounds are directed differently because it's rounded," Godin said. "They're not quite exactly sure where it's going to go, where when it was more square, they could knock it down and get ahold of it."
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Allen's goalie pants will used in various exhibits at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto over the coming months, including a display on the evolution of equipment, a St. Louis Blues display and the NHL Centennial display, which is coming later this spring.
"The evolution of equipment is a big part of the history of the game and the Hockey Hall of Fame prides itself on preserving that," said Phil Pritchard, the Hall of Fame's vice president and curator. "It's more unique than anything. We're halfway through an NHL season and the goalie pants have changed since last week. To add Jake Allen's pants to the (Hall of Fame), not only to tell the story of the evolution of the goalie equipment but it also helps add to our display for the St. Louis Blues. It's their 50th anniversary, so it's important to them, and it's the 100th anniversary of the NHL, so that's important, too. More than anything, we're preserving hockey history and we're proud to do that with the St. Louis Blues."