NHL Brass Wants Rule-Change Hat Trick
What's trending in the world of sport these days?
Pro football says no ducking and driving on sweeps. Major League Baseball says no fakes to third followed by fakes to first. Formula One says to lose two cylinders. The NBA took one look at the Lace List -- well, they could have -- and decided to eliminate flopping.
The NHL has clearly decided it cannot be left behind.
And after reviewing the general managers' recommendations to their league's Competition Committee at their meetings in Toronto this week, it looks like they've dangled the regulations sufficiently to score a veritable hat trick of patches.
Goalies are going to be wearing less, as former puck-stopper Kay Whitmore has been mandated to present a proposal to shorten the knee pads above the knee and downsize their bulk. Gotta love the instructions he received from the NHL's hockey ops honcho Colin Campbell: “Do what you have to do within reason to make sure they’re still protected to reduce the stopping area.”
Right now, the league's goalie demographic is wondering which 'stopping area' that might be. Pads now can span 55% of the distance between the knee and pelvis. If that figure is drastically reduced, the selection of cups spanning that-which-must-be-spanned will surely include a Kevlar line.
High-sticking calls that officials judge to be four-minute sins will now be subject to video review. With the speed of these infractions and the severity of a double-minor penalty kill, it makes sense that video should be used to ensure the right call was made.
Then there's the possibly-monikered Daugavins-Raymond Rule for shootouts. The Ottawa showman wasn't the first to try the old spin-o-rama puck-stuff, but when his attempt went viral along with a clip of Vancouver's Mason Raymond executing what could have been the world's slowest twirl-and-shoot move and getting away with it, something had to be done. Rules are already in place that state the puck must always be moving forward on shootouts and there can be no goalie interference by the shooter; the NHL just wants a crackdown on their enforcement.
It's safe to say these tweaks moved the game forward in a reasonable manner.
The general managers definitely deserve three stars for their performance.