A couple of weeks ago I threw together a posting mostly because I hadn’t had time to really put anything good together in a long while. For those that didn’t see it, it was just a bunch of random thoughts on the sports world. It wasn’t anything ground breaking, trust me.
The very first portion was about the NHL’s incredibly stupid review process for offside plays when it involved goals. To me having to review the action at one of the blue lines and not have at least one camera pointing directly along that line was asinine. Within 24 hours of me making that posting the NHL announced it was putting blue line cameras up for the playoffs.
Now obviously someone from the NHL saw that post, decided I was right, contacted all the GMs, and got them to agree it was dumb to not have cameras along the blue lines and that they should be added for the playoffs. I can think of no other logical conclusion. Based on that, I have some other demands for the NHL, and I expect they will take action on these just as fast as they did the blue line cameras.
First off, the NHL needs to get rid of the dumb rule that accidentally shooting the puck out of play from the defensive end of the ice is an automatic delay of game minor. It’s an unneeded rule. It’s not like there was a rash of incidents where skaters were firing the puck out of play. If it’s intentional, assess the minor. If it’s accidental, treat it like an icing and the offending team can’t change players.
Now I wouldn’t be against the rule being changed to an automatic delay minor if just the goaltender shoots it out of play, intentionally or not. But far too many times I’ve seen teams already shorthanded go two skaters down because a penalty killer missed his attempt to bank it off the glass and instead shot it into the stands. Or worse, a player clearing the puck and having it go into the crowed well beyond the center red line. Those shouldn’t be penalties, and that rule has to go.
Secondly, I’d have any team that has a player suspended have to skate one player short on the bench. After a team has to use 17 skaters for a few games you’ll see teams being more careful about who they place on their rosters, and we’ll see less of guys like Raffi Torres and Steve Downie. MLB does it, and there’s no reason the NHL couldn’t.
I’d also like to see a suspended player have to serve some of his games against the team he “offended”. If a player gets a five game suspension, and in those five games the team he offended isn’t played, he’d serve four games and then the fifth would be against the offended team whenever they came up next on the schedule. Even if the two teams didn’t play each other until the next season, he’d still have to serve that game. If the suspended player was traded to or signed with a new team, the suspension would still have to be served with the new team. The NHL can determine what percentage would work that way, but anything more than five games should be at least one.
Thirdly, allow the goaltender to handle the puck outside the trapezoid when on the power play. If a shorthanded team is allowed to gain a rules advantage because they have fewer skaters shouldn’t the team that didn’t have a penalty called on them gain the advantage of having their goaltender be able to play then puck in the “forbidden zone”? I’m not a huge fan of the trapezoid anyway, but I just can’t find the logic in changing one of the basic rules of the game for a team that broke a rule and not giving some small rules advantage to the other team.
Fourth, how about video review of all potential major penalties other than fighting. Even with two referees on the ice far too many major penalties are missed, and some that are called really shouldn’t have been major penalties. Every NHL game is on TV, so there’s no reason why video review couldn’t take place on potential major penalties. It often times takes just seconds to correct an error that could have a huge impact on the game. Of course they’d have to get rid of those dumb tablets they use for blue line reviews now, so it’s twice a positive for the game.
So there’s your list NHL. I await your press release announcing these changes.