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Trapezoid Not Needed?

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Two years ago, Doug Wilson tabled an agenda item at the GMs meeting that garnered very little support: removing the trapezoid.

Turns out he may have been somewhat of a visionary.

Since then, more and more scary collisions are happening between defensemen and oncoming forecheckers, and Wilson remains adamant that removing the trapezoid and allowing goaltenders to freely play the puck in the corners would alleviate some of those collisions on icing and delayed offside situations.

“We feel really comfortable in maintaining that position,” Wilson told ESPN.com this week.

He stopped short of saying he would table it again for the GMs meeting Nov. 15 but was confident it would likely be brought up in conversation.

We’re with Wilson on this one. Let the goalies roam free, and let’s minimize those needless collisions between defenseman and forechecker.

more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


petshark's avatar

Lol. 2 years ago, Niemi wasn’t the Sharks goalie. :O

Posted by petshark from Nor Cal, and on Twitter @petshark47 on 10/28/11 at 07:06 PM ET


The trapezoid prevents the goalie form becoming a third defenseman. We don’t need more defensemen. Without the ability to hit the goalie when playing the puck, which I don’t think will ever be allowed, you turn the game into defensive zone and trap game disaster. I find it interesting how many hockey people oppose anything that would make the game wide open. More and more they use injury as the reason to slow the game down. Now if they can only figure out how to make hooking a safety feature, we can have the good old days when the Devils dominated the league and no one watched the game on TV.

Posted by timbits on 10/28/11 at 07:13 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I want to see what the crackdown on charging, boarding, and headshots can do to alleviate this first.

Last season I was for eliminating the trapezoid for this reason, but I think that if we can eliminate defensemen getting killed by predatory forwards (or the opposite) without forcing a broken dump-and-chase system, then we’ve reached a place that’s best for hockey.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/28/11 at 07:17 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I guess it comes down to each person’s opinion of whether hockey should be a transition game or a defensive game.  For me I’d rather return to a more defensive game and I think the trapezoid should go as a step in the right direction.  I’d rather get back to a game that was more about getting open for shots and cycling the puck over what we have now.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 10/28/11 at 09:33 PM ET


People need to go back and watch game tape of what it looked like when goalies could play the puck.

It was very, very hard to get the puck in the zone.  SHot totals would be in the teens.  Yes, a part of that was the result of clutch and grab, but dump and chase is just about the only way to consistently move the puck into the offensive zone for a lot of teams.  A goalie being able to clear the puck makes D and C about 70% less effective.

With today’s rule set all we’d end up with would be a bunch of players almost static in the neutral zone while they trying to feather a pass through.  It would be like watching two teams trying to Trap each other, and both thought they had a three goal lead.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/28/11 at 10:37 PM ET


I am 100% for removing the trapezoid. This was a pathetic attempt to slow down the transition game of the more talented teams in the league in the late 90’s. This in turn led to a ridiculous increase in dump ins. I for one miss teams who actually CARRIED the puck into the zone! What a lost art that has become. It seems that the common wisdom today is removing the trapezoid will increase defensive hockey but nothing could be further from the truth. If your team has talent this can only help your transition game. Teams like the Wings and Devils thrived under the old system and in fact I believe this rule was specifically targeted towards them. Conversely if your team is less talented this will penalize them which is how it should be. Parity only makes sense if its not artificially created by the rules.  This rule is just like the 4 on 4 rules created in the 80’s which targeted the Oilers dynasty. The owners that create rules like this remind of parents at my kids soccer games whining because their kid didnt touch the ball enough(I’ll give you three guesses what the league did in response!).
With this system the defense are forced to wait along the BOARDS for an outlet pass from the goalie and the center is forced to come down low to cover the front of the net creating less defensive traffic in front of the net NOT more. Who isn’t tired of seeing four players collapsed in front of the net? It also means the center isn’t wearing himself out collecting the puck behind the net.

Posted by From The Hockey Wastelands from Cleveland on 10/29/11 at 01:06 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Who isn’t tired of seeing four players collapsed in front of the net?

Preach on brother!

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 10/29/11 at 02:56 AM ET


Posted by From The Hockey Wastelands from Cleveland on 10/28/11 at 11:06 PM ET

While your argument is well stated, the facts are still there. Prior to the change in rules after the lockout, hockey was overly defense oriented and slow.  While Detroit and NJ may have been able to prevail in that climate, it doesn’t change the fact the game was boring and unwatchable. Detroit was also able to prevail in the new hockey that emerged out of the lockout, so I don’t see the changes as intended to deny Detroit. That being said, they definitely were intended to deny the NJ style of hockey, for good reason.

Posted by timbits on 10/29/11 at 05:02 AM ET


The problem is that since the floor and the ceiling narrow the band of talent between clubs, it’s almost impossible to really out talent many other NHL franchises, so one team isn;t just going to he able to ‘carry the puck into the zone’ like Wastelands suggests.

And even if they could, each team has at most two or three guys who can do that.  The 60+% of the time those players aren’t on the ice… what happens?  4th-12th forwards just staring at each other firing the puck back and forth into each others shins at center ice, that’s what.

Heck, you don’t even have to go back and look at old tapes to see what would happen to offense in a non-trapezoid environment.  Just imagine a goalie could come out and clear a puck when you see a game today.

Very bad, awful idea.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/29/11 at 06:51 AM ET

Nate A's avatar

Are we really suggesting that the trapezoid of all things is what is responsible for opening up the offense??

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 10/29/11 at 01:32 PM ET


Sorry Timbits but if you dont think the rule was aimed at the Red Wings then you either dont remember how good Ozzie was at capturing and passing the puck or your too young to know. I also must strongly disagree with you about hockey being “unwatchable” or “boring” in the 90’s as I was there and it wasn’t. Hockey has ALWAYS been entertaining to watch in all its permutations but I do agree that post lockout “alterations” have made hockey much less frustrating to watch. You notice I called them alterations because these rules were always in place the refs just refused to call them.
    I’d also like to know why you think the league had “good reason” to target specific teams with rules? No team should be penalized for superior talent.
    HockeyinHD I dont even know where to start….but I’ll give it a try; I have no idea how you think the salary cap affects players ability to carry the puck into the zone. Most teams pre or post lockout have two skill lines and two grinding(you’ll have to forgive the euphemism I’m a Red Wing fanatic) lines. I expect, as I believe most people do, that the third and fourth lines will dump and chase. However now the talent lines are taught to do the same thing. This leads to less possession time and WAY to much wasted energy. You are being robbed of the displays of skill that were so common in the “boring” and “unwatchable” 90s. I wont even try to decipher the last three sentences of your post as I have absolutely no idea what they mean.

Posted by From The Hockey Wastelands from Cleveland on 10/29/11 at 03:38 PM ET


I don’t see it as a plus.  Take out the trapezoid and restrict the size aof a goaltenders glove to 10 inches across.  Then see what happens.  If they get rid of trapezoid equipment has to shrink I would start with the glove.

Posted by 13 user names on 10/31/11 at 02:26 AM ET

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