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Bring Back The Red Line?

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

It will be interesting to see what will be on the agenda for the general managers’ meetings next month, but it sounds like reinstituting the red line for purposes of two-line passes is becoming a talking point.

Bringing back the red line has long been an option endorsed by Senators GM Bryan Murray, who thinks little has been gained by having defencemen fire the puck up the ice and have it tipped in by a teammate at the far blue line (then have the other team do exactly the same thing), but it’s been a non-starter for many of his colleagues.

Now Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, viewed as one of the bright young minds in the game, has added his voice to the minority looking to bring back the red line.

“I don’t see it as wanting to slow the game. You have to look at what the game is now. We changed the rules to make it a more skilled game. It’s not a more skilled game,” Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s shoot the puck down the ice and go chase it. It’s about getting the puck in the other team’s end and getting there as soon as possible.”

Yzerman said he would also be in favour of permitting players to engage a little more in their pursuit of a 50-50 puck

continued and more topics too…

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Comments

Primis's avatar

I wholly disagree with Yzerman.

It *does* result in extra breakaways, often in otherwise-make-me-want-to-hang-myself games.

Crack down on interference again off the puck.  THAT is an idea that will work.

Posted by Primis on 02/04/12 at 02:16 PM ET

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Primis gets right to the point—start calling penalties again.

In the last three games that my team has played (Canucks), there has been a total of three penalties called against their opponents (not including fighting majors, which offset).

I actually don’t think it is possible for professional hockey players to play the game without there being multiple penalties called. It’s not a question of them being dirty/not dirty, it’s that the game simply involves contact that is penalty worthy. Often, this contact is obstruction of the sort that was “supposed to be” removed from the game.

Posted by Mike from Toronto on 02/04/12 at 02:33 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

Get rid of that damn trapezoid first.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 02/04/12 at 03:27 PM ET

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Yzerman wants the red line back AND advocates allowing more obstruction (though, of course, he doesn’t want to call it obstruction)?  Maybe they should allow goalies to have even bigger pads, too.

The goal is to completely eliminate goals, right?

Posted by Garth on 02/04/12 at 03:40 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Agree with the commenters, disagree with Yzerman, and even as a Wings fan, Mike, the lack of calls during Thursday’s game was silly—the Wings’ broadcasters and fans were as baffled as to why the Wings got away with as much as they did as you were.

The obstruction crackdown has all but disappeared minus the usual horizontal stick fouls and, “If he falls, it’s *sometimes* a call” penalties, as it usually does during the middle of the season, but I’ve been surprised by the amount of soccer and basketball picks away from the puck and near-football style tackles/wrestling that have gone uncalled over the past month…

And all the red line does, as we already know, is to push trapping teams a little closer to center ice. One way or another, coaches always opt for defensively sound hockey over playing games which encourage offense and the occasional goal against via making defensive mistakes, and unless the NHL bans video scouting, there’s just no way for anyone to sneak up on anyone else these days.

I find it kind of ironic that most everyone who isn’t a GM or Gary Bettman wants to see the trapezoid removed, too. Allowing goalies to play the puck in the corners did slow things down a bit, but it also prevented the kind of predatory forechecking hits on defensemen that have become an injury-producing monster, and because so many goalies play the puck less like Martin Brodeur and more like Dominik Hasek or Patrick Roy, the scoring chances which resulted from goalies wandering more than made up for allowing goalies to roam.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/04/12 at 04:25 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Call the friggin’ obstruction as they should.  If they bring back the two-line pass (and yes, I do disagree with Murray and Yzerman), we don’t see genius plays like this (Dangles’ backhand pass at 4:33 of the video).

I don’t know if the Bolts still play the 1-3-1 as often as they used to but, I think, if they bring back the two-line pass, that damn neutral zone trap becomes more prolific.  And I will hate the game play.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 02/04/12 at 04:37 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The goal is to completely eliminate goals, right?

Posted by Garth on 02/04/12 at 12:40 PM ET

In his mind it maybe is.  I don’t know that TB has the brightest offensive future now outside of Stamkos.

George, the picks aggravate the crap out of me, even when the Wings do it.

As for goalies, I’m only for removing the trapezoid if goalies are fair game to hit.  And I’m dead serious.  There are too many sh*thead faker sniper-from-the-top-of-the-scoreboard soccer-diving goalies out there that will go into the corners and flop every single time an opponent comes within 8 feet of them.  You want to play the puck, son?  Grow a f***ing set of balls and get ready to be hit like every other skater.  Otherwise, stay back in your protected crease and stop pretending to be a skater.  There’s a reason Goalies have separate rules from Skaters, and it’s not so that they can get the best of both worlds…

Posted by Primis on 02/04/12 at 05:13 PM ET

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Putting the rl back in is a bad idea. With less possible places for the puck to go, the receivers are just going to get crushed more often. Sure it will save defenseman some grief on retrieval, but only at the expense of forwards on the breakout, who will be asked to take sucker pass after sucker pass.

Also agree that obstruction is suddenly allowed again for some reason.

Posted by Larry from Pitt on 02/04/12 at 06:07 PM ET

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The same folks that want the red line back also want goalies that double as defensemen
playing the whole ice, hooking and holding (under the guise of safety) no obstruction calls and cross checking defensemen, no instigator and eliminate the touch icing. Voila we have goon squad hockey, played by non skating thugs. In other words Bobby Clarke/ Don Cherry hockey. God save us from these dinosaurs!

Posted by timbits on 02/06/12 at 02:01 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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