NHL Bans Spin-o-Rama in Shootouts
No one will dispute that the shootout out is a gimmick.
It didn't directly come into being to appease instant-gratitude casual fans who wanted to see a winner after each game's conclusion. It was driven more by the necessity to fit into a set time frame for the benefit of television scheduling.
There's probably a wonk deep in the bowels of NHL administration who can cite statistics that shootouts are a reason why the league's ratings in their desired demographic of males aged 25-49 are better than ever and still rising. And that will be reason enough to ensure the regular-season shootout won't be disappearing anytime soon.
With that in mind, it's ironic that the spin-o-rama will. This was one of a litany of rule tweaks that will take effect in the 2014-2015 season:
The other changes might be useful, but how does a circus move get deleted from a sideshow?
So say goodbye to showstoppers like these:
Well, complete stops are a moot point, now.
Och då, det finns Linus Klasen:
In fact, you won't see it here, either:
The move began as a freelance show of skill that goes all the way back to Montréal defenseman Doug Harvey in the 1950s and was mastered by legends from Dénis Savard to Bobby Orr during the game's flow. They were good that way.
For the record, here again is the stuff that makes more sense:
- Stiffer punishment for diving, including a graded scale of fines for players who dive, with their coaches getting hit in the wallet, too. The scale is by the numbers: $2000 for a second offense, $3000 for a third, $4000 for a fourth, and $5000 for each subsequent infraction. The coaches get docked $2000 on a player's fourth offense, and that goes up in $1000 increments for each subsequent infraction up to $5000.
- Expansion of the goalie trapezoid; goalies will have about two more feet of space behind the net in which to handle the puck.
- Clipping, charging, elbowing, interference, kneeing, head-butting, and butt ends can now be punished with game misconducts, along with boarding and checking from behind. Any player who gets two game misconducts will be suspended automatically for one more game.
- Hockey operations gets more leeway to help on-ice officials on goal calls, including whether a player used a kicking motion to score. Those will have to be more distinct now, so plan on seeing more deflected tallies.
- A two-minute minor will be assessed to a player called for two faceoff violations in his own end after an icing call. This is designed to stop the practice of sending forwards in for the drop for the sole purpose of getting kicked out, which allows his teammates a few more moments to rest.
- There will be a dry scrape of the ice for overtime and, if the game is still tied, coaches no longer have to list their first three shootout selections.
- When attacking teams put the puck over the boards, the face-off will still be in the offensive zone.
- Tripping will be called whenever a player dives and knocks down an opponent with any part of his body, whether or not he makes contact with the puck. This will be a minor, even on breakaways.