What change to NHL rules would you be in favor of?

John Grigg recently posted his Top10 list of rules changes that changed hockey. Among them are the advent of video replay, icing and the mandatory wearing of helmets. Topping Grigg’s Top 10 list was the introduction of the forward pass in 1929.

Gotta admit…it’d be kinda tough to play/watch ice hockey without players being allowed to pass the puck up-ice.

As you can see, rules changes have been a part of the game pretty much since the game has been around. Recently, there were a number of rules changes that have shaped the NHL game in the post-lockout era. Two-line passing was permitted and players having to remain on the ice after icing the puck were two changes I personally like the most.

That stupid trapezoid behind the net, well, I don’t much care for that at all. If goalies have the skill and ability to play the puck in the corner, why take that away from them? Also, I still am not a big fan of the shootout. I just don’t like having the outcome of a team sport determined by an individual skills competition. However, I recognize I’m in the minority opinion there and given that it is a hit with the NHL masses, it shall remain.

With that said, I will now ask you to put a little cerebral activity to the rules of NHL hockey and come up with one…just one… thing you would change if you had the ability to do so. Whether it be to eliminate a current rule, change a current rule or add something new altogether…what do you feel needs to be tweaked a bit to make an already exciting sport just that much better?

Would you change the overtime rules…maybe adding an extra five minutes before going to the shootout?

Would you go back to power plays lasting the full two minutes, regardless of how many goals might be scored? That’s the way it was done before 1956.

How about not being able to ice the puck when you’re killing a power play?

Maybe you think touch-up icing is too big a risk for injury. Thus you would push for no-touch icing, the whistle is blown once the puck crosses the red line.

Or would you advocate something as radical as changing the size of the goal, maybe larger to allow for more scoring? I wouldn’t, but I’m sure there are some among us that might like to see that.

Me…what I would do away with is that silly trapezoid rule that the league has experimented with for the last five seasons. Like I said, let the netminders play the puck in the corners if they see fit.

That…or maybe I’d like to see refs have to make a public apology to the crowd if they blow a call. You know, like they do in Japan with baseball umpires.

196 comments Add your comment

SomaAtl95

August 18th, 2010
10:25 pm

I was reading about hybrid icing on tsn.ca earlier, sounds interesting – the one huge faceoff circle looks strange though. They also are playing with the idea of red twine in net, for contrast. WOuld be interesting to see if the coaches were able to challenge one call per game and like football they lose their time out if the call does not go their way. Would have saved Anderson from many a “WTF?” to the refs this past season…

Darren

August 18th, 2010
10:29 pm

Rid the world of the stupid delay of game penalty for puck over the glass, eliminate the charity overtime point, change overtime to 10 minutes, and make it 2 points for a regulation or overtime win, and 1 point for a shootout win.

Done.

Darren

August 18th, 2010
10:30 pm

Oh, and get rid of the trapezoid. It solves nothing.

GaVaHokie

August 18th, 2010
10:38 pm

I was happy the second they eliminated the two-line passing rule. I don’t care what they did after that.

But, I really think your sport is a joke is you have the terms “trapezoid” and “hybrid icing” in your rule book.

Badger Bob

August 18th, 2010
10:39 pm

Darren, the puck over the glass penalty is a good one, but it shouldn’t be automatic – the ref should have discretion (like they do for EVERY other penalty). Case in point was about 3 years ago, late in the season in a semi-meaningful game, Les Thrash vs. Les Habs, Thrashers down one man. I believe Shane Hnidy had the puck in our zone with clear possession and shot it down the ice to kill time on the penalty. Only problem was it cleared the glass at the Habs end. That’s not the situation the penalty was put in place for, but it had to be called as automatic delay of game, two man advantage for the Habs, and they score. You can tell how much the “automatic” puck over the glass penalty irks me if I can remember that incident so clearly!

GaVaHokie

August 18th, 2010
10:39 pm

… seriously, it sounds like something out of “TRON”.

kracker

August 18th, 2010
10:42 pm

It is too late for me tonight but I will read and jump in tomorrow.

Putting On The Foil

August 18th, 2010
10:45 pm

No more shootouts. Either win it in overtime(lenghthen it if you will) or tie with each team getting a point.

English Teacher

August 18th, 2010
10:46 pm

I never understood the rationale for the “no-touch” zone. If you make a rule shouldn’t it follow reason?

Rawhide

August 18th, 2010
10:46 pm

Badger Bob – I understand your reasoning and it irks me too when a penalty is called when everyone knows the puck was not played over the glass intentionally. However, the flip side of that is refs are left with trying to judge intent and not the play…that can be equally as aggravating if not more so.

The first year it was implemented, (2005-06), it was left to the refs to decide whether or not it was “intentional”. But it was too subjective and the league moved to change it to be more black and white.

GaVaHokie

August 18th, 2010
10:57 pm

I like the delay of game rule… anything that keeps the action going. I use to hate guys dishing the puck out of play to get a whistle. It’s like all the fouls you get in basketball that constantly stop the action.

Peter Puck

August 18th, 2010
11:25 pm

Go back to wood sticks and smaller goaltenders equipment. And get rid of the anti-Brodeur zone behind the goaltenders.

Smoothie

August 18th, 2010
11:41 pm

Flames – apologies for making folks think you were down the hall from Duds! Ha, funny how things get twisted. I think I asked you to go down the hall and tell Duds to “get ‘er done!” Probably better if Boulton or Antropov played the heavy in that scenario! :-)

Brendan

August 18th, 2010
11:43 pm

Since Rawhide asked for “one rule, and one rule only,” … why am I now thinking of the movie “Red Oktober?” Anywho … my one rule only that I would change is this: The standings. With the advent of the shootout, games are either won or lost. There is no “inbetween.” Therefore, the standings ought to reflect the OUTCOME of the game. So, my “one rule only” that I would change … is the current standings to a “W-L, .pct, games up and games back” format.

Of course … that will NEVER happen. Any more than the salary cap will ever DECREASE, despite flagrantly obvious need for it. As well as some “honest” accountants working for the NHL.

Hokie P. Clisters

August 18th, 2010
11:52 pm

If the trapezoid was circumvented and subsidized then I would have no issues with it.

Thrashers27

August 18th, 2010
11:57 pm

HP Clisters,

What if the trapezoid were circumsized and subvented? Would you have issues with it then? :)

jcwhitingjr

August 19th, 2010
12:02 am

My one rule would be no-touch Icing – it’s a no brainer. Under the current and hybrid rules, time is just wasted while we wait for someone to race down the ice to touch the puck and hopefully not get injured.

Now after that, I’d say that diving should be called on it’s own merit. Either a player was fouled or he dove, one or the other not both. That’s how you’ll get diving out of the game. Then I’d go for eliminating the ability to ice the puck while on the penalty kill. You’re being penalized, no freebies! That should get players to think more about what they are doing before they do it and it could potentially increase scoring.

jcwhitingjr

August 19th, 2010
12:10 am

I agree with Brendan and that would have been number 4 on on my list(because like you, I realize it will never happen), eliminate the points system and go by wins and losses. There should be no reward for a loss! These aren’t liberal namby pambies, they are grown men and NHL hockey players. They should expect no less and be ashamed of getting a point for losing.

Hokie P. Clisters

August 19th, 2010
12:13 am

That would work also…..We could then call it a “trap n zap” for short.

R. Stroz

August 19th, 2010
1:16 am

Here’s a rule change:

When a penalty shot is called, I’d like to see the team that received the penalty shot also receive a two minute power play, whether the penalty shot results in a goal or not.

hoosier_hoser

August 19th, 2010
3:29 am

5. Allow the referee to rule “no intent” when enforcing the delay of game rule.
4. Get rid of the trapezoid. Why penalize talent?
3. Reduce the size of the goalie’s pads.
2. Make each match worth the same number of points.

And my number 1, wide-open, match changing rule …
1. Eliminate off-sides.

As a corollary to #1, replace the 2 linesmen with a 3rd referee. 4 officials for a match with 12 men on the ice is absurd.

And

hockeymom92

August 19th, 2010
5:26 am

I would definitely vote for a change in the icing rule – it is a waste of time and yes, an injury risk to require someone to touch the puck before it is called. I also think it is time to return to a trapezoid free game – it would be interesting to see what some of these goalies that have come into the league after that rule was instated could/would do if they had the opportunity,

World Be Free

August 19th, 2010
5:52 am

No touch icing-we had it all the way through high school and any league I played in before “retiring”. People who don’t like no touch icing have never been chased by an opposing player trying to get to a puck to “touch” for icing. Plenty of players have been hurt in the act; we are just waiting for a fatality before we decide to make the change that has been in international competition forever.

I have no real issue with shootouts, mostly because I hate ties. WTF you play hard all night and nobody goes home a winner? Leave that nonesense for soccer.

World Be Free

August 19th, 2010
6:07 am

Bad rule-making everyone wear helmuts. There were fewer head injuries in the 70’s then we have today, because back then, players respected each other more than they do today. There we no rules about hitting opposing players from behind becuase you didn’t need those rules. Rammer was one of the few players in the 70’s that wore a helmut his entire career.

Off subject-how times have changed–
When Tronna drafted Luke Schenn, Leafs fans and media hailed Luke as the next Tim Horton, anchoring the Buds blueline for the next 15 seasons. Now there’s solid talk of trading Schenn (the kid is Bogo’s age) because they have Phaneuf. Schenn has played as good as you can expect from a good player on a bad team. Again, if this was happening in Atlanta the Canadian press would be all over this. But the Laffs talk about trading a good young player and it’s OK.

One more rule-please have the NHL write a rule that keeps Don Cherry off all American televisions. He’s too stupid to be influencing any of our youth.

Sara

August 19th, 2010
6:12 am

My one rule change has to be eliminating intent to blow – stupidest effing thing I’ve seen in a long time.

Other than that, if they want to improve the game, teach the refs to suck less. Piss-poor officiating (including the aforementioned craptacular intent to blow) has been the one thing that has really ruined the game for me over the past few seasons.

Oh, and can they add it to the rulebook that NHL commentators have to talk about someone *other* than Crosby and Ovechkin once in a while? ;)

Fan from Carolina

August 19th, 2010
6:39 am

Instigator needs to go.

Fan from Carolina

August 19th, 2010
6:40 am

…and Bettman can follow.

GaVaHokie

August 19th, 2010
7:19 am

I’m also for no touch icing, and no shared points.
3 Points regulation win
2 Points OT win
1 Point SHO win.

Or, 2-1-1 or 2-2-1 but no point to the OT loser.

World Be Free

August 19th, 2010
7:51 am

Carolina-right on !

The Instigator Rule has spawned a bunch of cowards in the league who run around trying to instigate fights then run away. These guys all wear visors and never drop the gloves. I am glad the Thrashers do not have these cowards, the Clutterbucks, Kaletas, Lapierres, Maltbys or even Pat Verbeek for that matter. There’s others out there too.

Take off the visor if you want to be a tough guy.

Red Light

August 19th, 2010
8:07 am

Hard to keep it to one change, but I will say I don’t like monkeying around with the rules every year, every two years. The question is how can you improve the game, not how can you increase scoring, etc. If you aren’t going to use the center line for any other purpose than icing, I suggest going to the college rules where if you shoot the puck over two blue lines and the goal line then it’s icing. Take out the center line, make the bluelines a bit wider to make them more pronounced. Trapezoid out. Shrink the goalie pads back to 1970s size. Instigator out.

But, the most important rule of all? Only televise games announced by Sam Rosen and Joe Michelletti.

kracker

August 19th, 2010
8:08 am

I think it’s obvious that the puck over the glass penalty is necessary. With the skill these guys have, pucks will be flying into the stands every time guys get caught their goal on long shifts. They would have to extend the high glass and/or the netting to avoid puck-injury lawsuits. Also agree that it is too subjunctive to have the ref decide if it was intentional. All should be penalties.

Where the ref should use his judgment, IMO, is on icing calls. A miss-connected clearing pass from the corner, say, to a player out high that goes the length should not necessarily result in icing, as I see it. It is rather easy to determine if it’s a pass attempt or a fling up the ice when your team is under duress. If it is a miss-connected pass, which happens often, waive off icing, fight for the puck and let the players play on.

Flames

August 19th, 2010
8:17 am

Smoothie- Not a problem! I think awhile back we were going back and forth on the blog and I referenced that I had my ear to Duds door. It’s funny how things get blown out of proportion.

catherine

August 19th, 2010
8:23 am

What Sara said! Yes, yes and hell yes!

kracker

August 19th, 2010
8:24 am

oops, I should have re-read after posting, I meant to say “get caught defending their goal on long shifts.” Sorry.

kracker

August 19th, 2010
8:26 am

Flames — So Dudley’s office door is off the mail room, eh?

World Be Free

August 19th, 2010
8:28 am

Red Light-another good one on the goalie pads. Go back to J.D. (Davidson) size pads and ditch the Garth Snow pads.

If you are on equipment, you can also toss the Robocop shoulder pads and elbow pads, which are the source of many of the concussions we see today. Replace these pads with Brendan Shanahan’s pads, which were big enough back in the day and fine for today’s game.

Here’s another one-get rid of the seemless glass that you see in many rinks (but not here in Atlanta). The brackets make the glass stronger, since you are drawing on the strength of the glass panels as a whole. But they also make the boards alot stiffer and harder, leading to head and shoulder injuries.

kracker

August 19th, 2010
8:30 am

GaVaHokie

August 19th, 2010
8:30 am

While the new face-off circle is interesting, I don’t like messing with the “look” of the game. It’s obvious the intent is to increase scoring.

There are other ways to increase scoring without drastic measures… like the “no line changes on an offside call” like they’re experimenting with, coupled with the “no line change icing” that already exists.

Exhausted players leads to more scoring chances for the opposition.

Nate

August 19th, 2010
8:32 am

One rule change? Hmmm…how about either decreasing the size of the equipment goalies get to wear OR increasing the size of the goal by a half inch on all sides including the crossbar.

Not Blind

August 19th, 2010
8:34 am

All the offsides stoppages are my biggest beef. Make the bluelines 3 times their current width.

Also don’t call offsides if the guy is skating backwards with the puck within easy reach even if his stick isn’t touching the puck and even if he preceeds the puck into the zone.

glovesave29

August 19th, 2010
8:41 am

I want to address the size of goal pads…and if shroeder could add his two cents as a goalie, that would be great.

The days of the huge pads of Roy and Gigiuere are gone…and that is good. They were comically large and were more towards enlarging the player as opposed to protecting them.

I feel that since the lockout, as each season has brought on new restrictions as to the size of the pads – that we have hit the proper dimensions. In the past, goal pads, at the end of the season were often up to 14″ wide – now are measured prior to each game, and with modern technology, are comprised of foams that no longer compress and hold their 11″ maximum width.

One of the reasons for added size is that pads are now designed anatomically. In the past, places like the inside of the elbow, sides, neck and back were left without padding…it was just a crease in the pads where the joint was. Now, there are “floating” pads in these areas. The sole reason they are there is to protect from injury. The must be large, as they are attached to the pad with about a 1″-2″ piece of fabric that allows the goalie to have full range of motion without compromising safety. If you are concerned with chest protector size – allow the goalie to tuck them into the pant. Why they do not allow that now is beyond me.

Masks are larger, but I never have felt they added anything to the mix other than protection. Same for the throat protector.

Blockers and gloves are at the size now where they are tools of the trade and not oversized and comical in nature. Almost 2″ of width are off of the blocker, and the cheater bar has been outlawed on the catching glove.

Jerseys are now more form fitting, and the huge fabric “underarm” a la Patrick Roy is now illegal.

Pants are now more form fitting…any further reduction will reduce range of motion.

rob

August 19th, 2010
8:52 am

Rule I would like to see? How about, if your penalty results in injury, you sit out as many games as the injured player including that game AND the offending player cannot be replaced on the roster the remainder of that season, including playoffs? Talk about having them think about it. Penalty to be reviewed and confirmed, after the game, by 1 predetermined person to ensure a bad call does not penalize a team.

Here’s my issue with getting rid of trapazoid. Once the goalies all started roaming the corners, looking to get that long outlet and score the open net goal, it took all the momentum away from dump and chase forechecking. If you want to give the goalies the ability to raom all over, then you have to make them fair game in the corners and we all know that can’t happen. Be fast enough to catch the puck behind the net or stay in net. Leads to less goalie contact which in turn leads to less injury and less fighting because we all know what happens (or at least should happen) when the goalie gets hit.

GS,
On a separate issue concerning the goal, how did you feel about the “no foot in the crease” rule?
No touch icing……maybe.
No icing SH, I still don’t like it. Now serving the full 2 minutes I would be OK with though, but the PK needs to have a chance too and that is their chance. Otherwise one line is probably out there the whole 2 minutes and 2 minutes running short handed is TOO much of an advantage for the PP. Why not just award them a goal for the penalty, that is in essence what you are trying to do.

DWTOO

August 19th, 2010
8:58 am

1) No touch icing.
2) Trapezoid.
3) Return to traditional scoring: 2 Points Win 1 Point Tie. No O/T, No shootout. Would end the constant discussion (use this term loosely) regarding scoring. The tie was part of the game even it is like kissing your cousin. Afterall this is the South.

Elrod from Hall County

August 19th, 2010
9:03 am

DWTOO, so what-cher point ’bout kissin’ yer cuzin? And remember, secund cuzins don’t count!

rob

August 19th, 2010
9:15 am

I would like an 8 minute OT ,4-on-4, and no shootout with the old point system as well.
Also liked Alan’s penalty shot AND penalty idea.

Quentin

August 19th, 2010
9:16 am

Get RID of the INSTIGATOR Rule !!!!!!

Quentin

August 19th, 2010
9:17 am

Don’ You Agree RAWHIDE ????

glovesave29

August 19th, 2010
9:21 am

Rod – stay outta my crease unless the puck is in there. I have to be given the opportunity to make the save. In my eyes, the Brett Hull SC99 goal should have been waved off. And goalies wont go into the corners on the average dump and chase, as most of those are started just outside the blue line and inside center ice and are an attempt to generate offense. Not many goalies are going to leave their position exposed to go play the puck with all the forwards bearing down on them. Its usually on the long dump in to get a line change that the goalie gets the opportunity to play it.

I hate the shootout. Not just as a goalie, but because it is an individual skills competition to end a team oriented game. I’d rather see 4-4 for 10, or take the current 4-4 for 5, then add another 5 at 3-3.
I can’t imagine that 95% of the games would not be satisfied that way. If after that it’s still tied – call it a draw.

kracker

August 19th, 2010
9:24 am

Excellent points, rob, if favor of retaining some form of the trapezoid to prevent “defensive offsides” by the goalie.

I have always strongly favored allowing more checking of the goalie when they are voluntarily away from the crease. Such allowed contact should carry severe penalties for any contact deemed recklessly aggressive or likely to result in injury. Say a 10 game suspension, more if warranted. “Voluntarily away from the crease” certainly should not include any defensive moves out of the crease like a poke check, moving up to cut down the angle, freezing the puck at the side of the goal, retrieving a puck behind the goal, flopping on the puck, etc.

However, if the goalie chooses to go roaming in the corner or out in the circle and becomes a “skater”? Fine, then you take your chances, buddy. You say you don’t want to get checked? Well, stay home and play your position.

World Be Free

August 19th, 2010
9:25 am

rob-injury penalty/suspension

Isn’t that what Sabres fans wanted when Jamie McCoun (McClown) butchered Pat LaFontaine? Five games for re-arranging PAtty’s face with his stick. All it lead to was a brawl when the Calgary Flames came to Buffalo later than season.