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NHL General Mangers Meeting Recap, Big Rule Changes May Be Coming To The League

GM Meetings Recap

The General Manager had some interesting talking point at the meetings held the yesterday.

The goal of these meeting is to basically brainstorm ways to improve any aspect of the league. The GM’s were told that no idea is too ridiculous.

“It’s almost like a think tank,” New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero said. -NHL.com

“We like the game but how do we improve it and where is it going, and long-term,” Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray said. “That was the discussion and I’m sure all four rooms discussed different things. We didn’t make any decisions but we brought up a lot of things and some were completely off the wall and some were things that you think you would be looking at in four or five years. It was just a barnstorming thing about where the game is going.” -NHL.com

Here were some of the main talking points:

  1. Having just a single face off circle in the middle of each zone.
  2. Eliminating the loser point
  3. Increase the size of the net and zone sizes
  4. Make it illegal for a player to block a shot while sliding and falling to the ice
  5. Offside rule, video review and bye week changes

1. I do not really understand the idea of having one face-off circle in the middle of each zone. I am just trying to comprehend how that would look. The circle would be in line with the center ice circle, which does not sound bad until I tell you that the two defenseman would now be standing directly in front of their goaltender. You could have them line up with only one defenseman behind the circle and one with the winger on the hash-marks, but I still do not like that. I do not see how this would make the game better, or add more offense, it would not improving scoring enough to make the change. They might as just give the puck to a certain team like coaches used to do in practice.

2.Eliminating the loser point is a great idea. If you lose then you should lose. This could make teams want to win more in regulation, and in the end you may see more teams taking more chances at the end of the game if they are down. Yes if they do go to OT and win then they get the two points but that might not happen. This one I could see being tested next season, as this does not make that big of a change to the league, and the play of the game.

3. This rule could coincide with moving the face-off circle in the middle. If the offensive zones are increased then this might work. But hold on this means the neutral zone gets smaller. Currently the offensive zone is 75 feet from end boards to blue line, and the neutral zone is 50 feet. How much bigger would the o-zone get? Ten feet, fifteen feet, more? A 10 foot increase would not be that bad as not much happens in the neutral zone other than faceoffs. This would also potentially lead to more scoring because it would be harder for the defense to clear the zone.

4. With this rule in place this would mean that more shots from the point would get through, which could lead to more goals. This would benefit a lot of teams who like to use the point. It could make more scoring happen on the power play as well. Another thing is that it can help prevent injuries that players acquire when going down to block the shot.

5. The offsides rule is about the ability to challenge a goal due to an offsides that was missed by the linesman. I like the rule if it is what my understanding of it was. That the goal came from a play that led directly to a goal. Meaning that if the team enters the zone. screws around for a minute or so then they score then that is not able to be challenged. But apparently that is the way it is going. I do not remember who they were playing but a similar situation happened to the Bruins. They had gained the zone and were cycling the puck for a while and then they scored. Then the opposing team said oh no goal that was offsides like 5 (hyperbole)  minutes ago. My answer is then the other team had five minutes to get the puck put of the zone so the goal should count. My logic may not be sound but I think that is how it should play out.

Off of that comes the video review, Us Bruins fans do not like it, but as a hockey fan I do. The only problem is there are no clear guidelines about changing/reversing the call on the ice. It is supposed to be like football where there has to be conclusive evidence in order for a change to take place. Another thing is that they take way to long. It sloes the game down, the review should only take about a minute maybe 2 and if there is nothing to be seen then that means the call on the ice should stand.

Last is the Bye-week. This was the dumbest thing Gary Bettman has done yet besides putting another hockey in the middle of a desert. This is not football the players do not need a bye week that is what All-Star weekend is for, except for the players in it. The bye-week should be removed I do not think it help it only makes things worse. We saw with many teams as most teams lost their first game back from the week off since they went a week without practicing.

The meetings continue today, and I think possibly tomorrow as well. WE will have to wait and see what the GM’s come up with.

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