Bases empty, two outs, a 3-1 game, #8 hitter up. Nothing comes down to this.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Goalies to Start Using Catcher Masks

I'd like to welcome Vaxe from our sister blog, The Early Parts of the Second Period, who wrote this guest post for Bottom of the Fourth.

TORONTO (The Early Parts of the Second Period) - With the NHL season coming to a close, the league is starting to announce some changes to the game for the 2011-2012 season. First among them is a stipulation that goaltenders must start using baseball-style catcher masks.

Commissioner Gary Bettman explained the decision to reporters on Tuesday morning. "Ever since catchers started using hockey-style masks in baseball, we've been trying to extract money from MLB. Suing for theft of intellectual property, demanding royalties on every use of the mask, requiring NHL ads on each unit, etc. We're so poor."

Unfortunately, Bettman says, his lawyers tell him that the NHL has no rights to the goalie mask, having neither invented nor patented it. Common Sense and Obviousness Consultant Karthik Senthilnathan explained the concept when contacted by Bottom of the Fourth: "having neither invented nor patented the goalie mask, the NHL has no rights over its use."

The sudden decision to use catcher masks in the NHL, therefore, is an act of retribution on the league's part. "See how they like us using their equipment," raged Bettman.

Goalies across the NHL have called the move "pointless" and "confusing"

Said Bud Selig, commissioner of Major League Baseball, "What? Who's the NHL? I don't care."

The new masks are expected to aid goalies on pop-up shots on which the goalies need to quickly remove their mask in order to see the puck better. They are also expected to offer much less protection.

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