Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Big changes for the NHL rule book

From where I sit it looks like the NHL is making some big strides.

Although it's late for some players, the new visor rule will save so many others from pain. Naturally there are some who won't think it's a good idea (ahem, Don Cherry). But, today's players have spent their entire junior career with a visor, so it's not going to be an adjustment. The fighting rules will be changed to continue to allow scraps, after all everyone wears visors in the CHL and there's still plenty of fighting.

I'm also pleased to see progress on hybrid icing. I'm fine with a no-touch icing, there must be a stop to injuries like these...

I haven't read what the style of icing will be tested, but honestly anything will be an improvement. The races seldom, if ever materialize. I cringe every time I see players charging head-long towards the wall. The other aspect of hybrid icing is players will have time to make decisions and brace for possible impact. Instead of having 2 players at almost a dead stop with a live puck, there will be 2 players continuing their motions with a live puck. It will be an improvement in the speed and flow of the game...and more importantly an improvement in player safety.

Of the other issues discussed the big one that jumps out at me is changing the size of equipment. The goalies in particular. Prior to December 29, 2009 the NHL shutout record was held by Terry Sawchuk. He spent most of his career tending goal like this...

I'm amazed it lasted as long as it did and that there aren't any challengers with today's goalie equipment...

The sooner the goalies get smaller the better.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

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