Today, June 4th, the NHLPA and NHL got together to talk about the state of the NHL and how they are going to improve upon the game. Some changes will be good and others not so much.
Here is a rundown of the recommendations and how I feel about them as a fan.
1. Wearing of visors to be grandfathered in
I just cannot get behind this one, I do not know if it is because I am an old school hockey guy or what, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I understand that the OHL, AHL, and most, if not all, overseas professional leagues require a visor, but the NHL aren’t those leagues. The NHL is the most talented league in the world and while I understand the owners wanting to protect their investment, the players should be able to make a choice.
Some people will compare it to when helmets were grandfathered into the league and how the visors will be the same thing, but helmets and visors are vastly different.
2. Hybrid icing rule to be tested in preseason
Great in theory, but not very good in practice.
It does stop players from being hit from behind if the offensive player is behind them, but the other way to get rid of those is to call them penalties.
The major problem is it does not get rid of the most dangerous play, which is when two players are battling to make it down the ice and it is too close for the official to blow the whistle. Those are the times when icing is dangerous.
Also, it gives the defensive team a break by not making them get back to touch the puck and could eliminate goalies from playing the puck.
3. Shallower nets to be used next season
Finally one I can get behind.
Good for scoring, but terrible for goalies. Wrap around goals are already pretty dangerous in the NHL, but a shallower net means the play can get around the net that much quicker to beat the goalie.
The good part is that there is now more space behind the net for defensemen or forwards to move the puck.
4. Video review for 4-minute high-sticking penalties
Another good decision by the Competition Committee, but I am not sure it goes far enough.
It lets the officials get the call on the ice right if paged by Toronto, but it doesn’t change the fact of bad calls on major penalties or other more important transgressions.
It is a step in the right direction though and if passed will continue to snowball.
For these proposed rule changes can come into effect they have to be approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors.
How do you feel about the proposed changes; good, bad? Leave us a comment below.