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Imagining New Rules for the NHL

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Since there isn’t much going on aside from the Captain’s Practice (about which I will have a few words ready in the morning, I hope), here are some thoughts about some of the new rule ideas they will be testing at the R & D Camp.

Allow hand passes in all zones
Um, no.  This is hockey.  Even a newbie can tell that allowing players to bat the puck around with their hands undermines the essence of the game and I can’t see what possible safety benefit it would provide.  Speed up the game?  Oh come on, at what cost?  Part of me wants to say “no hand-passes anywhere ever!” but I hate to pick on defense.

Bear-hug rule
This is an awesome idea.  Hugs are much nicer than face plants into the boards.

I can see how the bear-hug might be abused: it is much easier to contain someone if you can just wrap him up, protecting him from a horrible head or neck injury.  Look after his shoulders too, and all his other parts.  Better hang on to him for a good 30 seconds or so just to be sure he’s okay.  You’ll know he’s fine when he elbows you in the face trying to get away. 

Seriously, the kinks in that one are worth working out, I do like it.

Remove the trapezoid
This will let the goalies with brilliant puck-moving skills show them off.  Unfair! Hardly anybody has a goalie like that.

No icing permitted while shorthanded
That is just too cruel.  I don’t like it.  In fact, if it were instituted, every time my team took a penalty I might cry.

All penalties to be served in their entirety
This seems to remove the added sting of major penalties, since being served in their entirety is part of why they are so dreaded.  I understand how it would increase scoring on power plays but it still doesn’t seem all that necessary.

Verification line(additional line behind the goal line)
Not sure how adding more lines to not be seen will help.

In-net camera: a mounted camera with view focused on the goal line to help verify goals
I guess this sounds good, though I’m pretty sure Luongo could still figure out how to get between the camera and the puck, a skill all goalies should strive to perfect. 

Overtime variation-4v4 then 3v3
This might be fun, though it gets complicated when they have to deal with penalties during OT.  How low can they go?

Shallow-back nets
Maybe a little more shallow would be good.  The puck would have less net to get all balled up in, and there would be more room behind the net.  But not very much more shallow.  It seems unfair to keep picking on the goalies.

Shootout variation (5-man shootout with repeat players if tied after 5 shooters)
N’ah.  Everybody ropes, everybody rides. (That isn’t really true even on a cattle ranch, but in theory it is more fun.)

Hybrid Icing
For God’s sake decide on this already.  Why is it still even a question?

On-ice officials communication using ref-to-ref wireless
This may seem like a cool and efficient plan, but in reality one must consider the popularity of baseball.  Obviously, fans like watching people stand around talking in hushed tones, so “no” to wireless communications.  In fact, it would be better if the officials did not have skates on either, so we could watch them walk slowly across the ice to convene prior to the much-anticipated standing around. 

In conclusion: a great big yes to the bear-hug rule. That’s really the only one I feel very strongly about.

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, petshark, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bear-hug+rule, nhl+r+&+d+camp

Comments

Hank1974's avatar

I love the idea of no icing during a powerplay.
The team took a penatly, they broke the rules. Why allow that team to now bipass another rule in order to help them not get scored on for committing a foul?

It would be like if the NBA gave someone a free throw for a defensive foul, but then allowed the offending team to goal-tend on the ensuing free throws.

When a team breaks the rules, don’t break the rules again to help them out.
NO ICING.

Posted by Hank1974 on 08/10/11 at 10:38 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I’m all for calling Icing on the PK.  I always thought it was stupid to “penalize” a team by removing a player from play, but then allowing them to do something they aren’t allowed to do otherwise.

I’d do both this, and force players to serve full penalties.  Make the PK/PP even more important than it is now.  I’m sick of seeing teams succeed with horrible special teams…

Posted by Primis on 08/10/11 at 10:48 PM ET

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No icing on penalty kill; full two minutes served. 

And, if defencemen are allowed hand passes, forwards should be allowed to kick goals in.

Posted by JBytes on 08/10/11 at 11:09 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

I’m a proponent of allowing icing on the power play. Most of the time, a player on the PK is instinctively thinking about clearing the puck, especially to get a line change. Also, that player is usually under pressure from an opponent. Asking a player, whose only thought is to clear the zone as effectively as possible and kill time, to somehow apply some touch in to his clearing attempt is asking too much.

I’m also against serving the full two minutes of a penalty. The reason why is the same reason why it was removed many years ago: because it was affecting the competitive balance of games. For example, if a team takes two penalties in the first five minutes of a game, and proceeds to give up five power play goals, the game is over before it basically starts. That affects TV ratings. That affects concessions because people would leaving early. Nobody wants to wants a special teams battle of that nature. Part of what makes hockey great is the end-to-end rushes, speed, and transition. Turning the game into a stationary one would take away from all that we love about the game.

Posted by cs6687 on 08/10/11 at 11:13 PM ET

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I’m also against serving the full two minutes of a penalty. The reason why is the same reason why it was removed many years ago: because it was affecting the competitive balance of games. For example, if a team takes two penalties in the first five minutes of a game, and proceeds to give up five power play goals, the game is over before it basically starts.

Respectfully, that’s BS.

It affected the competitive balance of the game because, IIRC, Montreal’s powerplay was SO dominant that they were scoring at will on the power play.  Teams are much more balanced in general now than they were back then.

If a team has to serve the entire two minutes then you’re going to have coaches giving a much shorter leash to players who take stupid penalties and if those players want to play then they will have to be smarter.

I’m not necessarily for it (I would be for making some penalties last the full two minutes and others not), but I don’t buy your argument against it at all.  This, like the argument against calling icing on the PK, strikes me as saying “come on guys, they broke the rules but you shouldn’t penalize them too much, it’s not fair!”.

Posted by Garth on 08/11/11 at 11:39 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m not necessarily for it (I would be for making some penalties last the full two minutes and others not)

Out of curiosity, which penalties would you make persistent?

Off-hand, I’m thinking the violence-related ones:
Roughing
Charging
Boarding
Slashing
Slew-foot
High-stick
Elbowing
Etc.

While the ones that come off are the laziness-related ones:
Hooking
Holding
Delay-of-game
Too-many-men

Tripping falls into a weird category where it could really be either. 

Just wondering if that’s where you were coming from or if you had a different idea.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/11/11 at 11:58 AM ET

cs6687's avatar

Having a team kill a full two minutes and not being allowed to ice the puck is overkill. I’d also assume if a team weren’t allowed to ice the puck, they couldn’t change lines either. The whole thing is another example of trying to increase goals by artificially enhancing offense. More goals aren’t necessarily needed to make the game more exciting. It’s scoring chances. And we get plenty of those now.

Posted by cs6687 on 08/11/11 at 12:00 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

Decapitations at center ice for Diving?

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 08/11/11 at 12:17 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

Garth, I do agree with serving the full two minutes for an elbowing, high stick, or any penalty that is called because of a shot to the head.

Posted by cs6687 on 08/11/11 at 12:19 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

Garth, that is a fantastic idea.
Make some of the 2-minute penalties, 2-minute majors.
Accidental high sticks, elbowing, charging, the more violent penalties.

I’d even go so far as to say that if you hook, hold or obstruct in your zone, results in a 2-minute major, but if you hooked someone while on the offensive, or in the nuetral zone, it’s a ‘regular’ penatly.

Great idea Garth!

Posted by Hank1974 on 08/11/11 at 12:36 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

Having a team kill a full two minutes and not being allowed to ice the puck is overkill. I’d also assume if a team weren’t allowed to ice the puck, they couldn’t change lines either. The whole thing is another example of trying to increase goals by artificially enhancing offense. More goals aren’t necessarily needed to make the game more exciting. It’s scoring chances. And we get plenty of those now.

I respectfully disagree. In some games, featuring more talented teams, you’re going to see more chances; ie Van-Det, Philly-Bos, etc.

But last year I saw way, way, way too many stinkers.
I can still remember the Coyotes-Capitals game on VS during the middle of the season.
After 20 minutes, the teams combined for a whopping 8 scoring chances. And as we all know, those stats are very subjective. I could only remember 3 of them.
The 2nd period was more of the same.
By the end of the game, the great majority of scoring chances occurred with a man-advantage. Those aren’t nearly as exciting as even-strength chances.

In another game with Chicago vs Columbus, I literally witnessed no scoring chances in over 7 minutes of game time. I don’t mean ‘real time’ I mean nearly 8 minutes ticked off the clock before I saw a decent chance.

And I know most puck-heads like to say the same cliche over and over how scoring chances are what matters, I disagree. Goals matter. We need to return to 7 goals per game.
But I don’t want more goals if it means more artificial PP goals.
I want nicer goals. Not more garbage goals or PP goals.

Posted by Hank1974 on 08/11/11 at 01:00 PM ET

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Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/11/11 at 10:58 AM ET

Off the top of my head I would say yes, that is how I would do it.  I do think there should be some type of difference between a slash or hitting from behind call and a penalty for accidentally putting the puck over the glass when trying to clear the zone.

Having a team kill a full two minutes and not being allowed to ice the puck is overkill.

I agree, enacting both changes would be over the top.  I was just taking each potential change on its ow.

Posted by Garth on 08/11/11 at 01:37 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

If you’re gonna have varied length penalties, I’d go with in play versus post whistle. Any nonsense after the play you serve full time. Also, be less afraid to call double minors and majors.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 08/11/11 at 02:08 PM ET

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Any nonsense after the play you serve full time.

I don’t know…as it is, post-whistle stuff seems so arbitrary, like when there are two guys tussling and the ref chooses one to throw in the bin.  I would put those in the other category, or else make the refs call both and have a full two minutes 4-on-4.

Posted by Garth on 08/11/11 at 02:20 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

If you’re gonna have varied length penalties, I’d go with in play versus post whistle. Any nonsense after the play you serve full time. Also, be less afraid to call double minors and majors.

Agreed. I don’t mind some jostling, but I grow really tired when a forward just stands near the goalie after a frozen puck and gets a punch in the face for doing nothing.
And yet, no penalty is ever called.

Watch a game from the 70’s when it was considered Thunderdome on the ice.
Players rarely touched each other even when a player accidentally fell into the goalie.

This is a new trend that needs to stop.

BTW, what ever happened to quick face-offs? Those need to come back too.

Posted by Hank1974 on 08/11/11 at 02:42 PM 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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