New rules are part of the NHL’s mandate to increase scoring and it’s fan base. New rules make traditionalists cringe and create frustrated feeling in fans that have already bought in. In the end the idea is that the league feels scoring equals entertainment which equals money.
How are the nets? Too big? Too small? Shrink the goalie equipment, enlarge the nets, create scoring. Not enough scoring? Then make it so the goalies can’t play the puck and move the nets further out from the boards. While we’re at it make a trapezoid where the goalies can get penalized if they wander out of, this should create penalties and more scoring. Do we need more penalties? Eliminate clutch and grab hockey and put in an instigator rule! This will reduce fighting and increase scoring!! Oh but wait we need a winner, can’t have a tie game people will not come back! Let’s put in a shootout after overtime…wait four on four overtime, even more scoring!!
On and on and on.
So what new rules could come into play now?
No icing on the penalty kill is the first. It makes sense in one way, if the penalized team is being penalized why afford them latitude? They should be penalized right? I think we have to ask ourselves why it is there in the first place. Having one less guy in a game like hockey that moves so fast is not just a disadvantage it is a massive disadvantage. Icing the puck on the kill provides some competitive balance in the play so the advantage is there but not overwhelming. Having a full kill without icing would force coaches to play their best players on the kill as well and therefore may also increase injuries to the leagues stars.
Modified or hybrid icing. In essence the referee will have discretion on an icing call based on where the defender is to avoid dangerous collisions. I get it and I think it’s coming from the right place but is very difficult to maintain. This rule goes out the window in the playoffs as do most because it is not black and white but it also creates an opportunity for coaches and players to disagree with the refs. No rule should be discretionary to that level. To really take the dangerous icing play out you can only have no touch icing, modified rules do not really eliminate the board play as the ref would see a race taking place and simply allow it to happen.
No Line changes for offending team on an offside. This would allow favourable match ups more often for opposing teams however why have home ice advantage then? This rule really comes out of nowhere with no huge upside with the exception that is may make play flow faster. In addition the puck will be dropped in the offending team’s end.
Hand passes anyone? This is hockey not baseball right? I’ve always thought hand passes in all zones should be against the rules but apparently the NHL wants them to be legal everywhere! This is a horrible ill-conceived idea.
No clutching or grabbing but making out… that’s okay. A rule to allow players to enfold another player in their arms while hitting them would be allowed. In addition having make believe tea and doing each other’s make up.
The same ref to drop the puck everywhere, this actually makes sense and would bring some consistency to the face offs.
Goalies to not be allowed to cover the puck unless one skate is in the crease. I kind of get it, I’ve seen goalies slide out and cover by the face off dots.
On a delayed call, stay with me here, the offending team can’t just touch the puck, they have to skate it out of the zone, thus giving the opposing team more time with the extra guy. Have you noticed a theme about how much power refs will have now? If they don’t like you, and they are human with dislikes, you can pay BIG time now.
Overtime to be extended in duration with both 4 on 4 and 3 on 3 formats tested, if a shootout occurs it will go to five players, not three.
These are all just proposals, some will be tried. Which do you like or hate? Ideas?
I for one would like to see no touch icing, the instigator rule be withdrawn, the trapezoid be withdrawn and blindside head shots be automatic games with suspensions that match the injury up to one season. Aside from that... leave it alone!