Friday, August 20, 2010

NHL Testing New Rules at RDO Camp Part 1

When Brenden Shanahan recently retired and become a league executive to look at ways at how the NHL Game could be improved. One of his big moves is taking place this week in the Toronto Suburb of Etobicoke at the Maple Leafs Practice site.

Thirty five players who were recently drafted or will be drafted in the next year or so are testing out some new possible rule changes that the NHL May look up in the new future.

Some of them have been tossed around for years like changing up the icing rule to a hybrid icing rule that they recently started using in the United States Hockey League, to different ideas for OT and the SO.

Others possibly being looked at include a Non-Drop Faceoff to different nets that are both wider, narrower and maybe a bit taller to make it more challenging for goalies to stop pucks.

Here's the Blog from the Research & Development Camp

Here's some links on some of the possible rule changing.

Overtime Rules

This is my biggest thing that needs to be changed as the number of teams playing for the shootout instead looking to win the game in OT. The number of games heading to SO's has been increasing scginfitanlty as to many coaches are playing OT to consvertalety as many current and former head coaches are saying that the current OT Rules need to be changed.

Among them include former Dallas Stars & Columbus Blue Jackets Head Coach Ken Hitchcock who's current working in Toronto at the NHL Research & Development Camp said in an article written by Nicholas Cotsonika back on Wednesday said "I don't like where four-on-four's going to, because it's going nowhere," said former NHL Head Coach Ken Hitchcock, who is behind one of the benches during the RDO Camp. "You're playing to get to the shootout, where you've got more strategy and more control. I don't like where it's going to go in the next few years. To me, it's going to the wrong place."

Here's some other quotes from the Nicholas Cotsonika Article

From Brendan Shanahan: "The three-on-three was interesting to me," said Shanahan, the NHL's VP of Business Development, who is running the camp. "That caught my eye."

To see the entire Nicholas Cotsonika Article, Click Here

Speaking of three-on-three, I'm betting that the NHL is going to pay close attention to the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) as the league announced that they are going to be starting three-on-three overtime this season.

In addition to the 3-on-3 OT, they were one of the few leagues left anywhere in North America that still ended games in ties, but they are going to start having SO's to break dead locks this season.

Once the NHL finds out about this, expect the National Hockey League to follow this closely to see will it works and given the fact that many coaches and games seem to at least have an interesting view on this, could this be a sign of things to come over the next few years for the National Hockey League and other major Leagues like the AHL & Major Juniors here in North America.

I'm making a prediction that this will go very well to give the NHL the idea to-go-to 3-on-3 sometime in the next few years. I expect the NHL, AHL & Major Juniors to seriously consider this. But I applaud the AJHL for taking a bold step in something that could change how many hockey leagues and competitions around the world how they look at their OT & SO Rules.

This is just the beginning of what you will hear of leagues going to 3-on-3, especially if this can reduce the number of shootouts. I will take a look from time-to-time to see how many games go to the SO to see if this works. And this could be something that other leagues may look at when the AJHL Season starts on September 10.

Here's the AJHL New OT Rules


This is the other big thing that I would like to see changed, currently in the USHL they recently introduced a hybrid icing rule which takes a different position between the current rules where the opposing player has to touch it and the no touch rule that is currently used by the IIHF.

This is partly a game pace issue, part of a safety issue. If you have seen NHL Hockey long enough, you have probably seen a fight to either get or refute an icing where a player a big hit among the boards have resulted in major injuries, it doesn't happen often, but it happens and it's something that can be prevented a majority of the time.

One of the biggest possible changes could be the icing rules where they taking a look at a hybrid icing rule that the United States Hockey League (USHL). This was introduced back in 2009 where the ref uses his best judgement to determine whatever to blow it down or let the players fight for it. If the defending team is clearly in front, then the ref will blow it down quickly, if the attacking side is ahead or if it's a dead heat, then the ref will let them fight for the puck.

Of all the rule changes, this is the one that seems to be getting the most steam among coaches and coaches.

Here's some of the Quotes Chris Johnson's Report from the Canadian Press

"Anything we can do with icing to protect our players we should do," Ottawa Senators GM Brian Murray said Wednesday. "If the linesmen can make the call earlier, then obviously it will benefit the good players in our league.

"Its a competitive and safe way of playing," said Ken Hitchcock. "You would almost completely eliminate those big injuries that come and yet you're still creating competition for the puck... For me, it's a really good idea.

"There's no worse feeling then what happened to a guy like Kevin Foster." Who got injured with a broken leg and had to missed a majority of the 2008-2009 season.

Click Here to see the entire Chris Johnston Interview