NHL: Henrik Lundqvist Kept in the Dark about Rule Changes, is Not Happy
Henrik Lundqvist isn’t happy with the NHL, and for good reason. The fact that they have enacted changes that could have a drastic impact on his livelihood, and possibly even the success of the Rangers’ efforts to take the Stanley Cup, isn’t that surprising.
Sports Leagues make changes to the way games are played all the time. The problem for Henrik emanates from the fact that they didn’t warn him ahead of time. And Henrik isn’t just another NHL player. He is the face of one of their biggest franchises.
More than that, he is also one of the best goaltenders in the NHL. In fact, he is one of the few players that non-hockey fans can probably recognize. As such, you would expect the NHL to make more of an effort to keep him in the loop.
However, it doesn’t look like that is the case. Henrik had no idea that there were notable changes coming to the game until last week; and the means through which he learned about the changes were not exactly appropriate, not for a player of his caliber.
He received smaller-sized pants in the mail a few days ago, and it was then that he was told that he would be expected to make the transition to smaller gear sometime in the middle of this season. That is hardly the best time to initiate changes, let alone a change that affects the gear that Henrik has to wear.
The goaltender was seen shaking his head after practice in Calgary. His worry came from the fact that, even after receiving the smaller gear as well as a simple briefing about the possible changes, Henrik still had no idea about the status of all the changes regarding his equipment that the NHL was planning to roll out.
Henrik doesn’t like the uncertainty; no one does. The league wants to increase scoring. That much has been clear for a while now. However, Henrik, like many people, thinks that the NHL is putting its focus on the wrong thing.
According to Henrik, the NHL would be better suited changing the rules of the game than simply worrying about the size of the goalie’s equipment. An increase in scoring tends to make games more interesting, and that can be achieved through changes to the rules.
It is worth noting one of the better NHL games saw Henrik and Evgeni Nabokov face off on April 13, 2014, at the Coliseum. Neither man would allow a single goal past, and that added to the tension, which was only broken when Dan Girardi managed to sneak a goal past Nabokov.
What set that game apart was the fact that it had so many scoring chances. There were no goals scored throughout, yet the excitement was still palpable because of all the scoring chances.
The smaller gear will be waiting for Henrik when he returns from his four-game road trip. He will have to address the issue after coming back from Columbus. Henrik needs to begin practicing in the smaller gear as soon as possible.
For Henrik, it is highly frustrating that the NHL gave him the smaller gear but didn’t tell him when he might have to start using it. The NHL needs to get their priorities straight.