Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 09/11/06 at 07:12 PM ET
The NHL's competition committee, which is primarily responsible for the state of the game, met over the summer, but apart from a handful of minor rule changes, decided against another radical makeover of the game. Players will still be penalized for shooting the puck in the stands. Goaltenders will still be prevented from handling the puck in the corners, behind the goal line. The tag-up rule remains on the books, and so does the three-man shootout. Pending approval from the board of governors next week, the only change will be to curve of a player's stick-blade. Instead of a one-half-inch curve, the standard since the 1970-71 season, players will be permitted a three-quarters-inch curve, which may make the illegal stick a thing of the past.Refs won't carry measure sticks before shootouts, either:
[T]he league will no longer measure sticks as part of its shootout protocol and instead leave that to the discretion of the coaches, who can now call for a stick measurement in the shootout if they feel someone is cheating, just like they can in regulation time and overtime. Forfeiting shootout shots and paying of fines will be the repercussions for successful and/or unsuccessful stick measurement calls in the shootout.Ilya Kovalchuk's stick is still illegal. (pic courtesy of TSN)
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