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Scotty Bowman still wants to see neutral zone restored to previous dimensions

From Adrian Dater:

In our exclusive weekly installment with the legendary, 14-time Stanley Cup-winning coach and executive, Scotty Bowman was asked: "If you were commissioner for a day, what are the top one or two things you would immediately change or add to the game? "

The two things, Bowman said: make the neutral zone bigger again and change the way goalies can pass the puck.

When the NHL made rules changes following the 2004-05 lockout, it took eight feet out of the neutral zone and split them in half to add to each end zone. It was designed to add more space for skaters in scoring areas, but Bowman thinks it's made scoring tougher.

"The end zones became so big that coaches said, 'OK, we can not cover everyone in this big space anymore, so we'll collapse everyone down low and turn them into shot-blockers,'" said Bowman, who had his day with the Stanley Cup at his Buffalo, NY, -area home on Friday. "If you take out the four feet in each end zone, now the blue line is closer to the goal and I think you'll have defensemen able to get more shots through from the point and more goals on rebounds and deflections."

Bowman thinks another problem with today's game is goalies being able to pass the puck out of their zone too much, leading to too-easy tip-ins and line changes for teams.

"If they handle the puck, I think the rule should be they have to make a play inside their own blue line otherwise it's a violation," Bowman said.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, scotty+bowman


nEgativezEro's avatar

Didn’t think I’d see that name covering hockey professionally. (Well, I mean it’s Bleacher Report, but I digress).

I think shrinking the neutral zone back to the original size makes sense. It’s sort of the same theory of the larger international ice size lowering scores as well.

Disagree on the goalies. Only on the power play do you really see them play anything out of their own zone anyway. Though if they made that rule and removed the stupid trapezoid, it would be a fair compromise.

Posted by nEgativezEro on 08/13/15 at 11:11 AM ET


I think shrinking the neutral zone back to the original size makes sense.

He wants the neutral zone bigger, not smaller.

Posted by Garth on 08/13/15 at 11:17 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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