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Hitchcock Wants The Red Line Back Too

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

St. Louis Blues coach Hitchcock won’t be at the general managers’ meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., this week discussing rule changes, but he has coached with and without a red line through his 1,097 games and he’d like it back in.

“With a red line it forces more of a puck-control game through the neutral zone, rather than a dumpand-chase game,” said Hitchcock. “There’s no puck-possession now, but a red line would bring back the playmaking centre. The centre who buys space and time would be back. Those nifty guys we saw before, they’re not around much anymore.”

Hitchcock concedes the old days with a red-line often slowed the game down because they allowed clutching and grabbing. It became a plodding affair. “As long as they keep the standards up (no lassoing), it’ll be fine. It’s always hard changing the rules back, but I think the red line would work,” said Hitchcock.

more plus other NHL notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock



Oh, please.  It would be a news story if someone like Ken Hitchcoc—whose goal is to choke the life out of every game—DIDN’T want the red line back in.

[quote“As long as they keep the standards up (no lassoing), it’ll be fine.]

Yes, because the NHL is known for keeping its standards up.  I’m sure Ken has noticed that the standards are already “down”—since he’s benefited from it - -but is hoping no one will notice.

Posted by Lex Talionis on 03/11/12 at 11:56 AM ET

SolidTG7's avatar

If the NHL wants a better game find a way to stop teams from playing 1995 Devils hockey like the Blues and Preds.

And does he watch the same games as we do?  Clutching and grabbing is being called less and less, those types of calls are way down.

Posted by SolidTG7 on 03/11/12 at 12:20 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Restoring the red line will just open another can of worms unless the other changes to the neutral zone are also reversed.  When they opened the game (supposedly) eliminating the 2 line pass, they also shortened the neutral zone by moving the blue line 2 ft closer to center ice**.  They have also changed the faceoff positions.  With the 2 line pass, the faceoff position was where the pass originated, but they have since changed the rules regarding the position of the faceoffs.
What would they do now..?  According to today’s game logic a faceoff caused by a 2 line pass would be deep in the zone (faceoff circle right next to the net).

**At the same time, they moved the goal line back 2 ft.  Increasing the defensive zone by 4 ft and making it nearly impossible to defend the points on the power play.  This is one of the main reasons most teams best defense on the penalty kill is to collapse into the slot and try to block shots.

(this comment has been submitted as a KK Members Blog post)

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 03/11/12 at 12:48 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

No, No, No, a million times no.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 03/11/12 at 01:49 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

only thing you need to know is TB & Stl. Are wanting the Redline back! Just watch them play & ask yourself why

Posted by Evilpens on 03/11/12 at 04:13 PM ET

Baroque's avatar

The problem is (well, one of many) that so many players have grown up playing without the red line that they don’t know how to play with it in. It’s been something like 8 years - so a 19-year-old now last had the red line in when he was 11. BIG difference between a player who is 19, 20, 21, 22 or so and a coach who is a couple generations older.

If a team doesn’t even remember what it was like with a red line, there will be a learning curve… and a learning curve mean sloppy, disconnected, discombobulated, messy awful hockey. It takes a very long time to instill habits that are different from what they have done for their entire careers, and now the league wants to change the rules on them again?

Leave the rules alone. It will just confuse and frustrate the players, and within a season or so the smart coaches will adjust to it anyway and the game will be just as plodding and defensive as some of them would like to see it.

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 03/11/12 at 04:27 PM ET


So Yzerman wants to remove the red-line to eliminate the breakout play that his team’s system, specifically, is most vulnerable to and Hitchcock claims to want it due to a supposed modern lack of creativity, a thing that he has hated for 15 years.

Posted by larry from pitt on 03/11/12 at 05:22 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

i sure dont want it back in the game. But first things first, we need this game to grow, lets get rid of Buttman then we can progress.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 03/11/12 at 07:31 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

So does this actually prevent teams from slapping it out of their own zone to a guy standing at the red line to tip it in?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/11/12 at 09:10 PM ET

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