The NHL made significant news Tuesday when it announced the League and NHLPA agreed to grandfather visors starting in the 2013-14 season. Any current NHL player having played 26 games or more (regular season or playoffs) is allowed to choose to wear a visor. Any incoming player is required to wear a visor, although juniors and college mandate all players to wear facial equipment to begin with.
- This is news long overdue. You can point to pride, stubbornness, failure to evolve etc., but enforcing some type of mandate for players needing to wear visors was necessary. As was the case with helmets back in 1980.
- No doubt the gruesome injury to Marc Staal and his slowed recovery prompted some within the NHLPA to finally say enough is enough.
Visors were not the only change announced Tuesday.
Hybrid icing will be tested out during the preseason and, if all goes well, may be implemented as early as next season as well. The NHL and the NHLPA also announced a joint committee would be formed next week to study possible changes to equipment for skaters and goalies.
- Enough of walking on egg shells: just make it no-touch icing and eliminate the unnecessary penalties/injuries that come from a race to negate icing.
Finally, the nets may be seeing a makeover. Shallower nets will be tested out during the preseason. Here's a preview of the new dimensions:
Here's a look at proposed shallower net, 4' x 6' opening of the net will remain the same, only depth reduced by 4" twitter.com/PR_NHL/status/…— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 4, 2013
All of these rule changes aren't finalized: they had to be approved by the Board of Govenors.
- The idea of shallower nets will be to open up play behind the net, allowing for a puckhandler to have some freedom to make plays. I'm all for it.
- Overall I like where the new rule changes are going. I'm all for opening up the offense but maintaining the integrity of hockey at the same time. What's not mentioned here is 4-minute high sticking penalties may be reviewable going forward, opening up more video replay possibilities which is no doubt a step in the right direction.
- Next rule change: getting rid of the delay of game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass. GOODBYE PLEASE>
Another rule change should be, if a player fights without removing his helmet. he gets an extra 2 min,
Like the visors, hybrid icing seems ok I guess, what about the downsizing goalie pads and eliminating individual sizing?
Something to keep an eye on, Nathan Horton has the 6th best +/- in the history of the NHL playoffs at +19. Wayne Gretzky has the top spot with a +28, would be interesting to see if he could top that... +19 is insane... better than 95 percent of the league in the regular season...
Get rid of the trapezoid behind the nets. Most important - no more shootouts! They have definitely run their course to now being ridiculous. Have a 5min. 4 on 4 followed by a 5min. 3 on 3 until you have a winner.
I totally disagree about delay of game. It's a great rule because it puts the defensive player at a disadvantage, and we need more scoring and more forechecking. I'm not talking about the PP goals that result from this - although, for teams other than the Rangers at least, more PPs mean more scoring and that's good too. I'm taking about all the times in a game that the defensive player just has to work a little bit harder to get the puck out of the zone, because pinging it off the top of the glass while under pressure is just a little too risky. So maybe he sends the puck down the center of the ice, it's intercepted and leads to a goal that way. It's a subtle thing and might not make a measurable difference. But anything the league can do to give the advantage to the forechecker and encourage aggressive hockey is a good thing.
The rule change I'd most like to see... zero tolerance for goalies freezing the puck without at least one foot in the crease. But that's for another post.
Over the glass should be same as an icing. No line change, no commercial, just drop the puck and keep playing.
I've never loved the over the glass delay of game, but I don't hate it either. The one thing I've said since the day they put it into place though is that it should be waived off when on the PK like icing. There's nothing worse than a 5 on 3 resulting because somebody tried to clear it down the ice & shot it over the boards.
Is there a possibility that the delay of game rule is changed from automatic to a judgement call?
Remember Drury's D.O.G a few years back when he batted a puck that was in the air over the glass while killing a penalty?
To be honest, I hate all three rules. I guess I can live with the visors, but I love the chase for an icing. Think about how many injuries actually occur from an icing. Very few. As Carp says at Rangers Report, pansification. Also, when Gretzky was roaming the ice it seemed like there was enough room behind the net.
I get that it *could prevent injuries, but look at how Hags rocks his visor. Fighting with visors is so shitty. What are you supposed to punch exactly? Ok so if these guys remove their helmets to "fight like gentlemen" are they more susseptible to head injury? Sigh.
What's even more amazing is when u look at how much Gretzky scored to attain that. Horton isn't anywhere close to that amount.
@Josh6 when did they start keeping +/- as a stat?
@MikeBlue I agree with shootouts never liked them but I think it should be a 5 on 5 20min and bring back the tie game and should be winner takes all or split the 2 points between each team.
I agree w-w you pharmerben. They put that rule in for a reason. Before the rule Players use to purposefully throw the puck in the stands to get rest or when a team was pressuring in their zone. It's a good rule which helps create offense. Don't eliminate it
@PharmerBern Even more then the goalie covering the puck outside the crease is DMEN covering the puck! Drives me crazy!
@Mikeytri It does suck when it happens to your team, but given a choice between more 5 x 3 and fewer, I'd pick more. Too many crappy goalies with 2.50 gaa's i this this league. Rules changes should be to create more scoring, not less.
@Mikeytri I actually think that is a decent compromise. I understand (and agree with) why the rule was put in place, but it happens way too often on the PK. Keep the faceoff deep in the zone, but no extra penalty.
@KevinDeLury Devote that energy to another part of the game. It's unnecessary to me.
@KevinDeLury But I am sure that there will be certain restrictions of the touch-up icing rule.
Like if the offensive player is ahead of the defensive player at the blue line then the touch-up is negated.
@_Jack Hagelin might as well not wear a visor considering how high it is on his helmet.
@PharmerBern I get what you're saying, but at some point you need to balance quality of the game over just creating scoring opportunities. From my perspective, a 5 on 3 created by an over the glass delay of game on the PK is a cheap reason to trade in quality hockey for more scoring.