When shopping Pro Stock goalie gear at HockeyStickMan, you may notice a small "K" scribbled somewhere on each piece of equipment. Whether it be under the toe of the leg pad or on the underside of the blocker, no piece of goaltender equipment gets used in the NHL before Kay Whitmore signs off on it.
As the Senior Director of Hockey Operations with the National Hockey League, and a former NHL goaltender himself, Whitmore is responsible for ensuring aal goalie equipment abides by Rule 11 according to the NHL rulebook, which he does by measuring each NHL goaltender's equipment by hand.
A total of 107 goaltenders appeared in an NHL last season, meaning Whitmore hand-measured each piece of equipment for all 107 goaltenders. This does not include the hundreds of other goaltenders who appeared in AHL and ECHL games, who would need their gear approved as well in case of an emergency callup to the big club.
The size of goaltending equipment has become a popular topic within the NHL community over the last handful of years. Goaltenders were pushing the limits with how big their equipment was, and it made it seem like goaltenders only came in one size - big. With goaltenders coming in all shapes and sizes, Whitmore noted how equipment should be tailored to fit each individual goaltender, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach.
For us, Kay Whitmore's signature is not just a sign of approval that the equipment is legal for use in the NHL, but a sign that the equipment is top quality and ready to be used in the best hockey league in the world.
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