Training camp will take on a little more importance than usual for most NHL goalies this September.

The NHL with the approval of the National Hockey League Players' Association has changed the rules governing the length of a goaltender's leg pads for the 2013-14 season making them a bit shorter so they don't block as much of the five hole between a goalie's legs.

The previous rule instituted prior to the 2010-11 season was that a goalie's leg pads could not go higher on his leg than 55 percent of the distance between the center of his knee and his pelvis. So if a goalie's upper-leg measurement was 20 inches which is roughly the average number in the NHL the pad could not go higher than 11 inches above the center of his knee.
That number will now be 45 percent so the same goalie will be able to wear a pad that goes no higher than 9 inches above his knee.

When it comes to closing the five hole losing approximately 2 inches off each leg pad could result in 4 inches less coverage depending on the style of the goaltender.

"Fifty-five percent to me in talking to guys that have been in the business a long time was excessive" Kay Whitmore the League's senior manager of hockey operations and goaltending equipment told NHL.com. "To get something in place we went with that for a couple of seasons and decided we would look at it again. We deemed that there was still a lot of pad that was infringing on the five hole taking away a lot space which wasn't really there for protection."

The NHL's general managers approved the rule change at their March meeting then it went to the NHL's Competition Committee before the NHL's Board of Governors voted on it June 27. Final approval was subject to a vote by NHLPA executives and membership.