Rule Changes

PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 11: Referee Kerry Fraser #2 looks on during the game between the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers on April 11, 2010 at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The game was Fraser's final game in the NHL as he is retiring after 30 years in the league.The Flyers defeated the Rangers 2-1 after a shootout. The victory clinched a playoff berth for Philadelphia. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Right now the league is holding a research and development camp to find new ways to ruin...excuse me, 'improve' the sport that we love so much. I'm sure most of you have already read about this but I figured it be a semi-interesting topic to talk about with yet another week of nothing going on around the Avalanche (to be honest I'm paying way more attention to the Nuggets and the Carmelo Crisis right now). I haven't looked to all the proposed rule changes because I'm lazy but here are a few that seem interesting to me.

The Hybrid Icing rule is one that might be good. Automatic icing negates an advantage a fast, hustling team (like the Avalanche) but I see the point the league has about the full speed races for the puck being very dangerous. If I understand this right then if a player of the team that ices the puck has a clear shot to get to the puck before a defender then icing is waved off. If it's one of those lazy dumps where all five players are behind their own blueline then no-touch icing is called without a defender having to hurry back. Seems reasonable to me though it gives the refs more responsibility and another chance to earn the ire of fans. Hmm...on second thought, maybe it should just be one or the other. Compromises usually end with everybody pissed off. 

Another icing rule is no icing the puck for free when on the penalty kill. Obviously this is to add more offense to the game. Real hockey fans know that an expert penalty kill can be just as, if not more, fun to watch than a goal but we're not the targets. The illusive 'casual fan' is, even thought I'm sure that the NFL could be locked out and still receive more press than hockey...At any rate I don't care for this but I probably won't chuck my laptop into a wall if it is implemented.

No line change after an offside is an interesting rule. I mean, what is the point? There was a clear reasoning behind no changes after an icing. But and offside is usually a miscue, not something deliberate, and since the players were rushing the puck its not like they'll be dog-tired like players pinned in their own zone. I don't really understand this one.

There are some faceoff variation ideas. The only interesting one to me is Instead of dropping the puck, putting it on the ice, blowing the whistle and starting a scrum over the puck. I think this would be fun to watch and I am damn tired of all the false starts on faceoffs last year.

Last but not really last because there are a bunch more rule proposals, is the changes to the overtime format. There would be a period of 4 on 4 then 3 on 3 then 2 on 2 before the shootout (they are saying 3 minutes a piece but if this gets implemented I wouldn't be surprised to see that cut down). This sounds like it might be pretty interesting. Hopefully it would end with more OT winners because, as somebody who kind of liked the shootout at first, I have to admit that it has completely lost its allure due to the frequency. Hopefully if they implement this in the future it will be with a restructured points system. 

Feel free to bring up any rules that I didn't mention that you think have potential to either be interesting or horrible.

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