NHL Tinkering with Wild Ideas

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The NHL is testing out a whole crapload of potential rule changes during its upcoming Research, Development and Orientation Camp. You can check out all the details on the NHL’s site. A couple of these proposals are good ideas; most of them are bad; and some are just downright awful.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of these “ideas” never see the light of day. You’ll soon see why. But there are a few that just might seep through the cracks and get approved. Here’s a sampling of some of the NHL’s proposed new rules.

The Good

  • No-touch icing. The NHL should have made this a rule a long time ago.  It’s already in place in college, high school, etc.  If you’re not going to do it for practical reasons (speed up the game, penalize the icing team), do it for safety. We do not need another Kurtis Foster incident
  • After a face-off violation, non-offending center can choose his face-off opponent. I actually kind of like this one, if only because it would more harshly penalize the guys that try to cheat. Get caught and you could really hurt your team. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see Brooks Orpik take some draws?

The Bad

  • No line change for a team committing an offside. This sounds pretty harsh to me. They already have this rule instituted for icing. Is it really necessary to add it for offside? I think not.
  • No icing the puck while shorthanded. I don’t like this one either. Does the offensive team need even more of an advantage? Does the league have to make it that much harder to play short-handed? Icing is a critical part of killing penalties. Don’t take it away.

The Awful

  • Overtime would consist of three minutes of 4-on-4, three minutes of 3-on-3 and three minutes of 2-on-2 followed by a shootout.  I simply can’t imagine 2-on-2 hockey. Would it even be hockey? Sounds like a desperate attempt by the league to add excitement to an already exciting situation.
  • A face-off would be controlled by a whistle instead of the traditional puck drop. This one is batshit crazy. It would severely change a basic element of the game. Centers the league over would have to re-learn how to take face-offs. Hell, why don’t you just let the centermen tap sticks three times like we all did playing street hockey? Forget this idea – make the linesmen earn their pay checks.