Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/16/14 at 08:19 AM ET
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
In an attempt to curb “cheating,” instead of a center being kicked out of the circle and replaced by a teammate if a violation is committed before a faceoff, a linesman would make that same booted player take the second faceoff attempt, only that player would be forced to move back 12 to 18 inches. The exact measurement hasn’t been decided.
“I don’t like it at all,” Wild captain Mikko Koivu said. “All it does is create more of a gray area. Faceoffs are quick reactions, both from the center and the linesman. Things happen so quick. Mistakes happen. So you’re going to maybe lose a tight game because a linesman gives the other team a free puck?”
But managers have noticed that 1) Players know linesmen avoid calling penalties (two violations on one faceoff), so they tend to cheat and 2) after icings, a winger will take the draw and intentionally commit a violation to get kicked out for a center just to buy more rest for trapped teammates.
Wild center Kyle Brodziak said: “This seems like a drastic rule change and gimmicky. It’s a linesman’s job to make sure players don’t cheat. I mean, is this that much of an issue? I think it’ll lead to more cheating because linesmen are not going to want to be backing guys up.”
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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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