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2011 NHL RDO Camp: Today’s schedule, curved glass, faceoff tweaks and the green line

Aug 17, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT

Max Pacioretty Zdeno Chara AP

As we’ve discussed before, the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp kicked off this morning and will also take place on Thursday. A rather large amount of different tweaks (both big and small) will be tested in the next two days, so we’ll keep you informed about what’s being examined and reactions to the possible changes.

To give you a quick summary of the event itself, 30 prospects for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft formed teams with Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma and Phoenix Coyotes bench boss Dan Bylsma leading separate squads. Those teams will test out that wide variety of different changes, giving the NHL brass (such as Brendan Shanahan, the executive most often connected with the event) something to chew on.

So far, the RDO camp’s biggest waves came in two innovations: curved glass near player benches and a different spin on last year’s yellow line used to verify goals. We’ll also take a look at today’s schedule and a tweak to faceoffs.

Curved glass next to player benches

It’s hard not to see the curved glass experiment as a reaction to that bad luck hit Zdeno Chara landed on Max Pacioretty, which sent the Montreal Canadiens forward into the turnbuckle (or stanchion, depending on your word preference). NHL.com has a full explanation of how exactly the curved glass would work.

After hundreds of hours of testing that included the use of crash-test dummies, the NHL has developed a curved-glass system that will replace the padded turnbuckles, which were set on the stanchions at the end of each player bench.

The curved glass flows from the glass above the boards and runs away from the ice. It is designed to eliminate the solid termination point that used to be in place due to the 90-degree angle that was created by the two sections of glass coming together at the end of each player bench.

(snip)

The curved glass will not be padded because the physics of it declare it doesn’t have to be. The glass is designed to deflect any player who skates into it back into the field of play.

“That’s because it’s free-flowing,” Craig said. “The curve itself is a continuation of the straight line from the glass and then it bends around. There is no place to put a pad. If you put a pad there, you create a hazard of having a shoulder stick and twist because this is a free-flowing system. If you’re coming down the wall at the players’ bench and there is contact, your shoulder will deflect off of that and you’ll continue into the play.”

Definitely follow that link if you want even more details about the curved glass. Let’s move on to a smaller tweak that might make help goal reviews become just a little bit more accurate.

Green goal verification line

Like I said before, adding a solid line to clarify that a goal was scored isn’t a new idea; it’s something that was bandied about last year. To catch you up to speed, the tweak is that a line is placed approximately three inches behind the red goal line, with those three inches representing the width of a puck. If a puck touches that line, that should erase doubt that the puck traveled far enough to be a goal (if other infractions like goalie interference aren’t under consideration, of course). The difference between this year and last year appears to be merely superficial: while the 2010 edition was a yellow line, this year’s one is green.

The green line won’t solve every goal review problem, but whatever color the NHL chooses, I’m all for the idea. Puck Daddy has photo evidence of the aesthetic differences:

source:  Green Line (2011)

source:  Yellow Line (2010)

Which color do you prefer? (The green does “pop” a bit more, I’d say.)

Faceoffs

As the Toronto Star points out, all faceoffs will take place in a faceoff circle only; none will take place at a “neutral zone dot.” I’d be surprised if that tweak gets much traction (at least from the sound of it).

Schedule

Finally, here’s today’s schedule of testing via NHL.com.

Wednesday, Aug. 17
(all times ET, subject to change)

10:00 a.m – Noon
• No-touch icing
• No line change for team committing an offside
• Faceoff variations (penalty line for center committing an infraction; all faceoffs in circles; same linesman drops puck for all faceoffs)
• No icing permitted while shorthanded
• Verification line (additional line behind the goal line)
• Overtime variation (four minutes of 4-on-4 followed by three minutes of 3-on-3)
• Shootout variation (5-man shootout precedes sudden-death format)
• Shallow-back nets

2:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m.
• After offside, faceoff goes back to offending team’s end
• Faceoff variations (both centers must come set on whistle; all faceoffs in circles; same linesman drops puck for all face-offs)
• Delayed penalty variation (offending team must exit zone in possession of puck to stop play)
• Changes only permitted on-the-fly (except after goals and upon manpower changes)
• Strict enforcement of goaltenders covering puck outside crease (Rule 63.2)
• Remove trapezoid
• Verification line
• Allow hand passes in all zones
• Overtime variation (switch ends)
• Shootout variation (5-man shootout with repeat players if tied after 5 shooters)
• Thin-netting nets

Do you see anything you really like in that group? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

  1. sknut - Aug 17, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    I like the no touch icing, so we don’t end up with Kurtis Foster situations, and the no icing on a PK forces teams to control the puck and get to center ice.

    Not crazy about the no line change on offsides or the taking the faceoff back to the offsides team zone. Most offisdes aren’t intential so there is no reason to penalize that team.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 17, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    No icing on a PK is just ridiculous, anybody who plays hockey knows how much a PK takes out of you if you’re stuck out there the entire time. There have been enough rule changes to increase goals scored, they don’t need even consider stuff like that, enough’s enough. I do like the overtime/shootout variations, no-touch icing, and removing the trapezoid though.

    • cannonblast14 - Aug 17, 2011 at 4:15 PM

      Also the problem is teams will just ice it anyways. We will end up getting ten whistles each PP because of icings. At least thats what i would tell my players to do if i were the coach.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 17, 2011 at 11:43 PM

        Exactly, it would be incredibly counter-productive in terms of keeping the pace of the game up

  3. cshearing - Aug 17, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Like the no-touch icing (or hybrid version). Also like the shallow nets, green goal verification line, and the curved glass at the benches. I think all these should be put into place, assuming testing does not reveal some problem with the idea.

  4. quizguy66 - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Glad to see the trapezoid removal on the list. Fun to note that Philly still hasn’t won a Cup after this Bobby Clark monstrosity was added in reaction to a specific player having a skill. Hope they remove the abomination.

    -QG

  5. quizguy66 - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    “with Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma and Phoenix Coyotes bench boss Dan Bylsma leading separate squads”

    That Dan Bylsma sure gets around doesn’t he? ;)
    -QG

  6. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle - Aug 17, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Best me to it QG.

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