"I've been working 20 years at a game I love trying to improve myself and to start over from square one is not something I'm interested in. It changes everything for the goalie and it doesn't, in my mind, bring more excitement to the game if the nets are bigger and guys score from the blueline."He's absolutely right, of course: While increased goal-scoring makes for better SportsCenter highlights and flashier leader boards, it's offensive flow that actually makes for a good hockey game; and a larger target doesn't affect that at all. Plus, if guys scoring from the blueline made for a more exciting game, Dan Cloutier would be the most popular goalie in the NHL.
When it comes to Luongo's comments, however, Vancouver Province writer Jason Botchford has one hell of a black helicopter theory on his awesomely named blog, The Ice Hole: That the entire debate about larger nets is a red herring, concocted by the league in order to scare the NHLPA into further shrinking goalie equipment to 1970s levels. "Ultimately, I don't believe the NHL has any intention of using bigger nets any time soon," writes Botchford, "but they do want everyone, especially their goalies, to believe it's possible in the near future."
I'm not sure I believe this "bigger nets-as-boogeyman" theory. The NHL was making noise about widening the pipes as far back as April 2005, when Brodeur, Marty Turco and a few others looked at three different prototypes developed by the league. Sinking that kind of development money into these designs for the sake of spooking a few goalies? I don't buy it; but if Botchford's correct, we might be dealing with the most elaborate scare tactic since Sean Penn's birthday present for his brother in David Fincher's "The Game."