Potential Rule Changes
Now that the playoffs are over, it’s time for hockey players and fans to look forward to next year, which means potentially tweaking the game. This year the NHL Competition Committee came up with a number of potential ideas, but a few could alter the game more than others.
One that should pass regards teams switching ends for the overtime period. Currently, the sides that teams have for the third period are kept for overtime, but the switch would make the teams have far changes like the second period. It would also include a dry Zamboni run to clear the snow.
The idea is that the NHL wants more games to end prior to shootouts, which makes sense. Too many times teams just mail it in because they don’t want to give up the game-winning goal. Now with the long change, more offensive opportunities should be out there for scorers to convert on, as the second period historically has had more scoring than the first or third.
After putting in the trapezoid for goalies to handle the puck coming out of the lockout, there has been no changes to the rule, but now the committee wants to expand the trapezoid on the goal line side from 18 to 22 feet. Therefore, more goalies could help out defensemen on dump-ins.
The new rule should instead eliminate the trapezoid completely. It’s not natural to restrict abilities in any sports, so why should the NHL restrict goalies from using their stick to fire passes to forwards? The trapezoid does more harm than good, so the potential change is a move in the right direction.
One rule that will most likely not get passed is the idea of a coach’s challenge. To have a coaches challenge, that would mean the NHL would make plays other than goals reviewable, because as it stands, every goal is automatically reviewed in Toronto, making a challenge in the current format useless.
The NHL is the only professional league that does not have a flaw in their video review system and they should keep it that way. The game has nonstop speed and video review changes will only slow it down.
Among the other ideas floating around from the Competition Committee include cracking down on embellishment, which could only be spurned on by recent diving on a national level throughout the playoffs, a no brainer all around for the committee.
Hash marks around the dots may be extended as well, from three and a half feet to five feet, the international length. Hopefully, this will prevent as many gridlocks off face-offs and is intended to give forwards a little more room to work, something that any hockey fan will appreciate.