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GM Meetings: Red line rule doesn’t gain much traction

Mar 12, 2012, 6:43 PM EDT

Ken Hitchcock AP

For all the talk about safety in the GM meetings, the worry was that there would be some over-correction that could accelerate the NHL’s return to the Dead Puck Era. Of course, the most obvious example is the discussion to bring the red line back – and therefore eliminate the two-line pass along with (perhaps) some of the grinding hits that come with dump-and-chase strategies that (supposedly) arise from the red line’s removal.

Neutral zone trap Chicken Littles can breathe easily, though, as Yahoo’s Nick Cotsonika is among the reporters who passed along news that the move to remove the red line didn’t gain much traction.

I’ll just insert this excerpt from Cotsonika, which is basically acting as a text-based stress reliever:

Some GMs came to the meeting in favor of the idea, thinking the game had become too fast and too simple, with teams firing the puck through the neutral zone and simply tipping it into the offensive end. Their thinking is that re-instituting the red line would slow down the game or add skill through the neutral zone.

(Quick aside: I’m not saying that there’s NO skill involved with navigated the neutral zone, but I still laughed out loud at the notion that re-instituting the red line who be a good thing for skill players.)

But there wasn’t much support among the small group that discussed it, according to the Detroit Red Wings’ Ken Holland. The worry is that teams will start trapping in the neutral zone the way they used to or just find another way to adjust.

“I think pretty well everybody in our group agrees that they like it the way it us,” Holland said. “We can change the rules, but we’re going to have another set of circumstances five years from now and four years from now. That’s the problem.”

Don’t mind me, I’m just going to dance on the grave of that horrible, horrible idea.

More GM Meetings goodness:

Burke gets dirt in his face part one: No “bear hug” rule.

More Burke dirt: Puck-over-the-glass delay of game penalty seems here to stay.

Brendan Shanahan breaks the meetings down.

Hybrid icing gets a serious look.

  1. buffalomafia - Mar 12, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    When players fight both players should take off there helmets!

  2. jpelle82 - Mar 12, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    red line needs to stay out. hybrid icing in. trapezoid out.

  3. tampabayirish - Mar 12, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    I like the idea of players removing their helmets prior to a fight. However that’s not always possible. Some fights are just too spontaneous. I think this should be a custom among players, not a rule. What are you going to do, give a guy an extra 10 minutes or even 2 minutes if he doesn’t remove his helmet in an altercation? On another note, keep the red line out. Please don’t take the game further back into the dead puck era. Call interference penalties. I like hybrid icing (or even no touch icing) and I am ok with getting rid of the trapezoid. What I would really like to see to kill the dead puck era (and the various forms of traps) permanently would be either a larger ice surface or 4 on 4 hockey. Think about how good 4 on 4 hockey is strictly from an entertainment standpoint. The 5 minutes of overtime are often the best 5 minutes of the game. Odd man rushes and speed (and big, open ice hits) are what makes a hockey a great game to watch, not dump and chase and clutch and grab. I know the purists wont like it. It would sell the game. It would be a great game to watch.

    • jpelle82 - Mar 12, 2012 at 8:11 PM

      would be nice if they all squared off properly and took the helmets off but you are right, not always going to happen. just like guys with visors shouldnt be fighting either

  4. babar61 - Mar 12, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    Thank god

  5. pavelfitzgerald - Mar 12, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    I don’t know how re-installing the red line will “help” skille players. Dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, couldn’t agree with you more

  6. blomfeld - Mar 13, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Todays’ NHL rink size is identical to the ice surface of the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal, which was constructed back in 1862 (ie: 200′ x 85′). It’s very simple friends, as the easiest solution to opening up the game would be to immediately adopt the European/Olympic sized ice surface. How do you have today’s players competing in a design that is over 150 years old ? It makes absolutely no sense, unless of course you’re an owner, who probably thinks that rinks are “too big” the way there are … you have to remember that their interest is solely putting as many paying customers into their buildings as possible … nothing more and nothing less … the “integrity and form” of the game is not a consideration in their thinking …

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