Hurray for Proposed NHL Rule Changes

Now that the NHL has finished collectively violating the imbeciles at the NHLPA, I can talk about hockey again. I certainly won’t be buying any seasons tickets to the Canucks this year, but I am keen to watch the proposed fast-tracked rule changes.

The NHL is traditionally the Most Glacial Game on Earth when it comes to rule changes. However, the desperate need to recapture fan interest means that a number of significant adjustments could be introduced this season:

The removal of the red line — except when teams line up for faceoffs in the neutral zone and for the purposes of icing — was just one of countless possible rule changes in a memo league executive vice-president Colin Campbell sent to general managers and the players’ association for discussion.

The other expected changes include smaller goaltending equipment and restrictions on where the netminders can play the puck; a revamped overtime in which teams play four-on-four, then three-on-three, then on to a shootout to break ties; tag-up offsides; and the movement of the nets closer to the back boards.

I don’t think the removal of the red line for offsides is going to make much difference. If you watch European hockey, it just means the defense lays back further, and the neutral zone trap just gets closer to the opposing goaltender.


  1. As long as they’re considering expanding the playoffs to 20 teams and not considering giving 3 points for a win, I’m not too optimistic. At least shrinking the goalie pads will be good. Things were getting a bit ridiculous on that front.

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