GM’s To Discuss Rule Changes This Week

Being an NHL GM isn’t such a bad gig, well that is if your team is winning and looking like they’ll still be playing hockey in a couple of weeks. But even if your name is Scott Howson, you get to spend a couple of days in sunny Florida talking hockey and probably playing some golf. Not a bad gig if you can get it!! The GM”s are in Florida this week to discuss some possible rule changes during their semi-annual meeting. Rules changes always worry me.

Here are some of the things they’ll be discussing and some of my thoughts on those things they’ll be discussing.

  • No Touch Icing – I’ve seen some GM’s say they don’t think it would affect the speed of the game but raise player safety by a large amount. There is part of me that agrees and a part that disagrees. The part that agrees looks at the icings that happen when a lone defenseman goes back and touches the puck, so in that case, no touch icing wouldn’t slow anything down but then there are those exciting races for the puck that wouldn’t happen. For instance in one of the Devils games over the weekend, Ilya Kovalchuk flew down the ice to touch the puck to negate what could have been an important icing against NJ. How many injuries happen on icings? I can’t recall the last time I saw one. You want player safety, focus on the hardness of the pads ramming guys in the head.
  • Removal of the trapezoid – This is what I call the Marty Brodeur rule and I bet you don’t see the trapezoid disappear until Marty is retired. Then and only then will it be gone. Part of me is kidding but part of me isn’t. Never understood to rule and why the NHL felt the need to handicap any goalie with the ability to go play the puck. Stupidest rule to ever find its way into the game. Should have been removed years ago.
  • Reinstatement of the “Red Line” and “2-Line Passing” –  Dale Tallon, among others, wants to discuss reinstalling the red line and two-line pass infractions as measures to counter player speed in the neutral zone. Putting this back in place would be the dumbest thing they could do. It speeds up the game and makes for some great breakaways. Leave it alone. You want to slow down the speed Dale, invest in some quality D-men.

Those are the big things I’ve seen in articles written about the meetings this week. They’ll also be talking about equipment, ways to minimize concussions, goalie interference and the use of using video review, changing OT formats a bit and of course there will be talk about the CBA which is something that we need to pay close attention to. We can’t afford more time off.

It should be an interesting week and let’s hope that we don’t go making too many changes because the NHL is doing just fine in my eyes.