Just a quick Friday afternoon heads up, the AHL Board of Governors finished up their meetings in sweltering Hilton Head Island, SC this week and made a few rules and format changes we'll see starting in October.
First off, we have confirmation that the beloved Rampage along with the Texas Stars will play the traditional 76 games next year while our pals on the coast will only play 68. Playoff spots will be determined by points percentage and the top 4 in each division will qualify for the Calder Cup playoffs "with one exception in each conference: if the fifth-place team in the Atlantic or Central Division finishes with a better points percentage than the fourth-place team in the North or Pacific Division, it would cross over and compete in the other division’s bracket."
This kinda sucks in two ways, the Rampage have to play more games than their division-mates and the final spot in the Pacific could be hoovered by someone out of the Midwest, I'm assuming because they have 8 teams and not 7. Hopefully this doesn't create any more controversy than it already has, but good luck with that.
Second, the AHL has adopted the "3-on-3 only" style of overtime that the NHL approved recently and for only 5 minutes this season.
We'll see how this goes. I liked the old way, but it was a little contrived and streamlining it might make even fewer games go to the skills comp, which is nice.
Third, we will have coaches' challenges for video review (for reviewable things, whatever they are) if the team still has their timeout.
Hate this passionately. I am not in favor of any kind of challenge/review system from the teams. If the officials screw shit up constantly get new officials, don't leave it up to the participants to oversee the game.
And finally we have new faceoff rules for any puck drop outside of the center circle, the defending player must place his stick down first.
I like this. Home teams got way too much of an advantage before. Now it should even out on an in-game basis.
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That's all for now, hopefully we get some news on RFA signings in the next week or so. Enjoy!