Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/16/05 at 09:11 AM ET
The initial days of training camp can be rough on all pro athletes trying to work their way back into game shape, but NHL defensemen have faced a more daunting task this week. New rules designed to increase offense mean referees will be cracking down on obstruction penalties this season. To quicker, good-skating defensemen, the change is viewed as a positive. To those who have made careers out of mucking up the neutral zone with physical play, it's something of a nightmare. "Pretty much everything I've ever been taught in my entire career goes out the window," Kings defenseman Aaron Miller said. "I'd always been taught to grab guys and pin them against the boards, but now that's the last thing you want to do, so there's definitely going to be an adjustment." The Kings have taken to whistling plays dead during their practices when a penalty occurs in an attempt to give players a practical display of what they will no longer be able to get away with during games. "I took 10 minors in practice (Wednesday)," Miller said.
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