Examining Potential Rule Changes
The NHL General Managers are meeting in Sunny Boca Raton, Florida this week to discuss potential rule changes.
Two of the rules gaining support are hybrid icing to help reduce injuries and the elimination of defensive zone hand passes.
Back in 2009, IC’s Kyle Kosior explained why he thought hybrid icing was the way to go.
“The current “touch” icing rule still has its benefits, namely the opportunity for the offensive team to beat the defending team to the puck and create some offense. However, this risk far outweighs the reward here and there are simply too many instances of defensemen (Kurtis Foster) and forwards (Pat Peake, Patrice Bergeron) getting injured on these plays to justify the continued existence of touch icing. A race for the puck is great, but a race that ends inches before a solid wall is just foolhardy.”
While it did not get support from the General Managers, on Saturday’s Illegal Curve Hockey Show, Drew, Richard and Ezra all agreed that the red line should be put back in. Their reasoning being it will put additional skill back in the game and increase player safety.
The following quote was paraphrased from Saturday’s Illegal Curve Hockey Show airing from 12pm-3pm on TSN 1290. To listen to the entire segment subscribe to the Illegal Curve Hockey Show on iTunes or download the episode at IllegalCurve.com.
“A current strategy for many teams is to make a pass from behind the defensive blue line to a player over the red line, and the team with the puck tips it into the offensive zone and begins forechecking. There is additional incentive to do this, because the goaltenders can’t play the puck. That causes additional collisions against the glass because the defensemen don’t have the goalie supporting them. The net result is less passing, to get through the neutral zone, all teams are doing is tipping the puck in. If you bring in the two line pass, you shrink the ice a little bit and force teams to pass more. Teams will have to make shorter passes and become a passing team.”
Back in January, Ezra Ginsburg spoke with Martin Brodeur who echoed that giving the goalie the ability to play the puck would increase safety for defensemen.
“I think not just for me to play the puck, but for the safety of the players.”
Richard Pollock added on Saturday’s Show
“It is a skill you are taking away, if the goaltender is playing the puck, it may create more goals sometimes, why prevent a goaltender that isn’t good at playing the puck to make mistakes.”
While it appears that the GM’s will only agree to change the two rules, some may argue that there is additional work to be done. What changes do you think should be made to the game (if any)?