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Here are three ‘major changes’ the NHL should consider

Mar 13, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT

bettmangetty Getty Images

There will be no “major changes” to the NHL’s rulebook, according to commissioner Gary Bettman.

“There will be some recommendations, some things people will look at, there will be some more homework done, but you should continue to enjoy the game principally the way it’s being played.”

And for most hockey fans, that’s fine. The NHL is in a good spot right now. There’s labor peace. More and more people are watching — in rinks, on TV, and on the internet. And hockey fans are traditionally averse to change anyway. They wonder why people are always trying to mess with their game.

Which I guess puts me in the minority. Because here are three fairly major changes I’d like to see the NHL consider:

1. A revamped points system

Something that gives teams an incentive to win in regulation time, not play for a tie and hope for the best in overtime or the shootout. In the Olympics, it was three points for a regulation win, two for an overtime or shootout win, one for an overtime or shootout defeat, and none for a regulation defeat. A system like that could be especially effective down the stretch, when there’s desperation to make the playoffs and the difference between winning in regulation and winning in extra time could be the difference between making and missing.

Granted, lots of people have suggested this, so here’s a more dramatic idea to consider: a bonus point for scoring a certain amount of goals in a game.

Before some of you faint at the mere suggestion, they already do this in rugby, as Wikipedia explains:

It was implemented in order to encourage attacking play throughout a match, to discourage repetitive goal-kicking, and to reward teams for “coming close” in losing efforts. Under the standard system, points are awarded as follows:
—- 4 points for a win.
—- 2 points for a draw.
—- 1 “bonus” point for scoring 4 tries (or more).
—- 1 “bonus” point for losing by 7 points (or fewer).
No team can get more than 5 points in a match.

The “encourage attacking play” is the big part for me.  It’s not so much I need goals, but I at least need the attempt to score goals.

Look, obviously there are drawbacks to a system like this. It would penalize teams whose best players are goalies or defensive-minded skaters. I appreciate defense. It takes a total team commitment. Frankly, at the end of the day, I probably wouldn’t even want this system. But it does make me laugh thinking about an idea like this even being broached by the NHL, and what the response would be. People would go ballistic. Why is that?

All I know is the NFL has never been more popular. Just a coincidence that the league has also seen a dramatic rise in scoring in the last two decades? Why are hockey fans who want to see more goals treated with such disdain? Were people who watched hockey in the ’80s wrong to like what they saw? Can you not want to see more attacking hockey, on average, and still appreciate the occasional 1-0 game?

2. Bigger nets

Before you rip the stupid blogger in the comments section, you should know that you’d also be ripping Mike Babcock.

“If the goalies [are] getting bigger, then the net is getting smaller,” Babcock said last year. “By refusing to change you are changing. Purists would say you can’t do it because you’re changing the game but by not changing you are changing the game.”

I’m old enough to remember the time when, if you were a small kid, they’d throw you in goal. Hence, the diminutive retired goalies we see working in TV today, like Darren Pang and John Garrett.

The small kids don’t become NHL goalies anymore. And let’s not even get into the size of pads those big, tall goalies wear now compared to back in the day.

At the very least, I’d like to see what bigger nets would look like in a real-game situation. I mean, wouldn’t you? Play a few exhibition games with them. What would be the harm in trying? Green eggs and ham, etc.

3. No more icing allowed during penalty kills

For as long as I’ve been a hockey fan, I’ve always wondered why a team that’s been penalized suddenly gets to do something it normally wouldn’t be allowed to do. Does that make any sense? It’s like being thrown in jail for assault, but because you’re in jail and being in jail is hard, you’re allowed to — I don’t know — engage in tax fraud or something.

Again, I’d just like to see how this looks. I’m not saying put this rule in right now. There are always unintended consequences. But I think the new icing rule where the offending team’s players have to stay on the ice has been fairly received. This would be an extension of that, because tired players don’t make for very good defenders, and if you can’t ice the puck on the PK, you’re going to see a lot of trapped, tired defenders on the ice.

“The overwhelming sense of the group is you don’t make change for the sake of change,” Bettman said after the general managers’ meetings. And he’s right in saying that.

But he’s also making a bit of a straw-man argument, because nobody’s suggesting change for the sake of change. People who want change are trying to make the game better, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

101 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. qauzaq - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    As a Kings fan the thought of getting bonus points for scoring scares me.

    • thailer35 - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      Same with us Coyotes fans…

      • zidlickymylollipop - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        Same with us Devils fans

    • greenbike14 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      Canucks fans as well.

      • elvispocomo - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        I actually suggested the rugby format with some alteration to fit hockey some years back when the NHL was really scrambling around the idea of increasing scoring on a local Vancouver radio show. It was summarily shot down (“It’ll never happen,” click) but what do they (Pratt’s a jerk) know anyway.

      • skr213 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        ^ what did Joey come up with a new name?

      • psousa1 - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:55 AM

        Bruins fan too.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      You’d think Flyers fans would be in support of it but I’m definitely not one of em.

    • dukdukguus - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      As a Blackhawks fan, I respectfully disagree. In fact, I think they should go to a points system where goals are the only thing that matters. A goal is a point.

    • c9castine - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:22 AM

      Haha that points system is brutal…I don’t see that happening

      I’m all in favor of bigger nets as long as we are talking like 1 inch per dimension.

      I’m curious about penalty kill no icing. I’ve always wondered how the game would go if the penalty killers played more of a normal system instead of throwing the puck down the ice every chance and not going anywhere. When I played I was always a believer in aggressive penalty kills…I think it minimizes the advantage even if it sometimes maximizes risk. But this will be a hard one to pass I think.

  2. bwolfsohn - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    How about keeping when a penalty shot is awarded, if it’s not successful, they get the 2 minute penalty in addition to the shot..

    • nobandwagoners - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:34 PM

      I second that – if you get a penalty shot and the player who gets hauled down doesn’t score (it’s not like the team gets to pick who gets to take the penalty shot), then yes, why not still give the team a power play? That could possibly lead to some teams in certain circumstances deliberately throwing the penalty shot in order to have (at least) 2 minutes on the power play but that’d be very limited and, hey, could be strategy (no worse than playing to get to OT?).

      Also, I’d like to see where there are offsetting penalties that the teams play 4 on 4 automatically. Not 5 on 5 with simply the penalized players sitting out.

      • Jason Brough - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        “Also, I’d like to see where there are offsetting penalties that the teams play 4 on 4 automatically. Not 5 on 5 with simply the penalized players sitting out.”

        I believe they put it back to 5 on 5 because the 1980s Oilers would intentionally force scrums to get matching roughing penalties. They loved playing 4 on 4.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        wait, why would they throw a penalty shot? only thing I would see doing that for is if you’re trying to kill a clock and want to be on the PP while doing it. but i’d take a goal over wasting two minutes anyway.

        I have a feeling my brain just isn’t picking up what you’re laying down. afternoon does that to me.

      • greenbike14 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        I like this, the OT in last nights Canucks-Jets game was awesome, lots of chances at both ends, I think this would increase scoring.

    • tronn25 - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      I’d be willing to take it even further and offer that with EVERY penalty the opposing team is awarded a penalty shot. If the player fails to score, then his team gets the odd man advantage.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        lol too much. we want shootouts OUT of the game, not more in them.

      • elvispocomo - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:24 PM

        Nope. Then it becomes an individual game versus a team one. I’m not even sold on the penalty after a failed penalty shot idea since it’s two cracks at the can, but you could give the team an option. And if something like that was implemented where there’s a penalty still after a failed shot you’d have to lessen the penalty impact, say to 1 minute instead of 2 because of the chance already had. Otherwise the importance of your goalie as a ‘panlty killer’ wouldn’t have the same effect.

    • sabatimus - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:43 PM

      I like the idea of a choice between the penalty shot or the 2 minutes. E.g., if TJ Oshie is the shooter, you go with the penalty shot. If it’s John Scott…

  3. Colin - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    The bonus point for losing in OT is a farce. If you’re willing to concede that a loss in OT is worth less than a loss in regulation, then you have to accept that a win in OT is worth less than a win in regulation as well. The 3-2-1-0 option is a good one, but the league could just as easily do away with the bonus point for losing late (in which case you might as well just count wins regardless of how they come about, since there are no ties with a shootout) or scrap the shootout and go back to a 2-1-0 system where ties are allowed. Let’s face it: it’s not like anyone watches the games hoping for a shootout. It’s a skills contest that really has no place in determining playoff spots.

    • sportsfaninyyc - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:59 PM

      Totally agree!

    • ray2013 - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:26 PM

      I’ve been to a fair number of games over the past few years. There is a buzz in the crowd when the score is close late in the game. Some people like the shoot out.

  4. AppealToReason - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    I’m not terribly against bigger nets. I’m against those effed up net prototypes they had.

    I’d like to see them just make the nets bigger by 2 or 3 inches or whatever the posts currently are. The idea being that what counts as a post now, goes in. So like 6 inches across is added and like 3 higher.

    I bet they could roll this out black ops style and no one would notice.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      “I bet they could roll this out black ops style and no one would notice.”


      • AppealToReason - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        Goalie: Why does the net look weird?

        NHL exec: We’re using a different red paint this season.

        Goalie: Oh okay!

        A lot of guys in the league aren’t very smart.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        haha i thought you were talking about the fans. as a stupid goalie, I think I’d be able to tell immediately. you know that weird post hacking thing we do? that’s our finely-tuned version of echolocation…. just has nothing to do with echos. now if you WERE using a different color paint, yeah, that one would probably get right by me.

      • AppealToReason - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:53 PM

        Goalie: Geee the posts sure feel far away. This paint is so decieving!

        Exec: Yup.. paint… Mhmm!

      • elvispocomo - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        I had a pretty good sense for how big the net was as a soccer goalie and where I was in it. NHL goalies would absolutely notice if they put in bigger nets and didn’t tell anyone.

  5. bwayblueshirt - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    I’m down to give an extra point for a regulation win, I’d even be okay with testing out slightly bigger nets, although I don’t really like the idea. My biggest beef is the trapazoid of safety. I remember watching games way back when goalies were fair game if they left the crease, but they could if they wanted to. Also, the delay of game for the puck over the glass needs to remedied, to be either treated like an icing, or to be contingent on the offensive team sustaining pressure for a certain amount of time prior to the penalty, or outnumbering the defensive team in the zone.

    • jpelle82 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      just think if the caps got 3 pts for regulation wins during their dominance of the former se division…beating up on weak teams in a weak division would’ve given them probably another 20 points in the standings – same for the canucks back then too. i dont like it – even though they’ve created a lot more parity in the realignment….who knows what could happen in 5 years. you have a dision like the central where teams are beating each other up every night in close games jockeying for points and then a team like pittsburgh now in the metro cruises to home ice advantage throughout the playoffs because of scheduling advantages (travel and strength of schedule). im keen on keeping it 2-1-0 and just call it a tie after an extended overtime. tie breakers for playoff seeding just favors wins over ties anyway and thats what really matters.

    • tacodream - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      I agree with everything you wrote here, which saddens me because it looks like you’re a Rangers fan. If the league doesn’t want goalies playing the puck, let them get hit outside the crease. The ones who are tough enough to take the hit and play the puck will still play it, and the ones who aren’t will stick to the crease.

      I also wouldn’t mind seeing an option where the team awarded a minor-penalty power play gets to choose whether it’ll be a two minute 5-on-4 or a one minute 5-on-3. That could add some offense late in periods or when teams are struggling to come back.

  6. ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    the third one is the most intriguing to me right now. that little rule change could send shockwaves through the way the game is played in more ways than I’ve thought of. when PP% skyrockets to like 40%, i bet we start seeing a cleaner game. I like that one, personally.

    • AppealToReason - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      Teams would probably do away with the meatheads that go and get a roughing penalty every other a game after a whistle because “honour!”

      It could also lead to more 5v5 scoring chances as guys would be less likely to hook/trip/slash or whatever backchecking on the 2 on 1 or as they’re getting beat in the neutral zone.

      But then I wonder if in 4-5 years if it would make a difference because I’m sure teams and players would have adapted. But then we could come up with a new idea.

    • enollatsknarf - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      I think this is the worst idea of them all. The referees make way too many bad calls and giving the powerplay even more of an advantage is a bad idea. If the powerplay rate for the league went up to 40%, you’d see even more flopping as well.

      The referees need to enforce the existing rules on a consistent basis (including the playoffs and late in the 3rd period) and we’ll get a cleaner game.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:37 PM

        see, that’s exactly why i find it intriguing. there’s so much depth to that one that weighing the positives and negatives is beyond my capacity.

  7. btlpper68 - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Wouldn’t mind a couple inches added to the nets, goalie gear just gets puffier and bigger

    • hockeyflow33 - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      No it doesn’t. This is simply not true.

    • sabatimus - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      This was true, but starting this year it was strictly addressed and the pads were mandatorily downsized.

  8. JoeAvg - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    1) Where’d you get that stuff? It’s powerful.
    I’ve already posted my opinion on the point system several times so I won’t bother again.
    2) Meh, menza menza

    3) Not bad but I’d rather they ditch the old Montreal Canadians rule and go back to making offending teams go the full 2 minutes shorthanded regardless if they’re scored upon or not.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      uh oh. you misspelled Canadiens. the sky is about to open up on you, sir

      • JoeAvg - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        Ehh..I scoff at danger.

  9. matt14gg - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    I’m sorry, but the “bigger nets” argument honestly makes me angry. It hits right at the essence of the game. It’s like moving the pitcher’s mound back five feet or making a football field 20 yards longer. It may just be that I’m old school, but this is not just tweaking the game, but instead substantively changing a basic tenet of the greatest game on earth. And on a more practical level, you are asking goalies to change something they’ve spent their whole lives learning to cover.

    OTOH, I’ve always thought there was a pretty simple rule the league could adopt that would radically change the game, and yet not necessarily change its very core, and that is shot blocking. I wouldn’t mind if there was a rule that a player could not leave his feet to block a shot. The owners would like it, because it would cut down on injuries, and fans would like it because it would increase scoring.

    And it would probably put John Tortorella out of work permenantly which may not be a bad thing.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      I like it, but the grey area with the blocking rule would drive most of us hockey fans to insanity I think.

    • AppealToReason - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      1) They already fiddled with the mound in baseball to increase offence and the NFL does everything possible to make it impossible for players to play defence to create offence

      2) That would end up being a discretion call and all we see now is trying to take the referees discretion away. Also, what is leaving your feet? Laying down? What if you “creatively fall”? What if you dive to knock a puck and the guy immediately shoots it into you? Is one knee leaving your feet? What about scrambles where guys get knocked over?

      • matt14gg - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        First of all I’m not for any rule changes…I love the game the way it is (minus the stupid icing rule), but if they are going to change rules to create offense (and it’s fairly clear they are) I’d like to see a rule change that doesn’t affect they very core of the game, like increasing the size of the nets would.

        “AppealToReason” the rule changes you mention in other leagues don’t have much to do with dimensions. The only changes to the pitcher’s mound have been the height and that has changed numerous times in the history of baseball (today the rule is 15″, but it’s dirt and anyone in baseball will tell you it varies from park to park), and while the rules you mention in the NFL are frustrating they have nothing to do with the actual dimensions.

        As far as trying to interpret leaving your feet v. “laying down” etc, like any rule there is a certain amount of interpretation involved. That’s just the way it goes, but at least this type of rule would have the desired effect without changing the basics of the game.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        I just really really really don’t want to watch hockey and when we’re trying to tell whether a dude’s knee touched the ice, get reminded of football.

  10. jpat2424 - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Dumb dumb and dumber

    • ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      …says a man completely unaccustomed to change.

  11. joey4id - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    The only one of the above I agree with to some degree is the “no more icing allowed during penalty kills”. I’ve actually written about that on PHT. As a coach I obviously liked it because it’s an effective way to protect the net. On the other hand I’d rather see players keep the puck on their sticks. The coaches would have to develop more creative tactics of penalty killing which would make it more entertaining, and would probably lead to more PP goals and maybe more PK goals as well. However, more goals on the PP would mean referees would have more say on the outcome of the game, which is never a good thing. Because of that added responsibility they may become more tolerant leading to a lot more non calls, and players will take advantage of that. idk… this constitutes a big change.

    One thing is for sure seeing players handle the puck like it’s a hot potato is no fun. Too many dump ins, chip and chase, and icings. Icing the puck at even strength when the team is under pressure is no different than shooting the puck out of play before a rule was instituted to prevent it from being used as a tactic. Icing the puck in this situation can be considered as delaying the game as well because it is a deliberate act of stopping the play.

    • machosasquatcho - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:21 PM

      You’re not a coach, blomfeld.

    • sabatimus - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:49 PM

      Do you EVER not reference yourself when writing a post? You might want to see a psychiatrist to get the formal diagnosis.

    • laxnhockey - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      Watching a skilled player handle the puck is one of the most fun aspects of the game. Watching a guy like St. Louis, Datsyuk or Toews rag that thing around is awesome.

      But the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a long time is comparing icing to shooting the puck out of play.

      Me thinks joey’s mama dropped him one too many times.

      • joey4id - Mar 20, 2014 at 12:09 PM

        You idiot! Both are akin to get a deliberately forcing a stoppage when a team is tired and under pressure. Why the hell do you think they instituted the automatic 2 mins penalty when the puck is shot over the glass? And why do you think teams are not allowed to make a line change after an icing?

        “Coming out of the 2005 lockout, the NHL introduced several new rules in an attempt to increase offense and speed up the game. Among them was an addition to Rule 63.2’s definition of delay of game, which made it an automatic minor penalty for a player in his own zone to shoot the puck over the glass and out of play. The puck-over-glass rule was the perfect solution to the problem of players intentionally shooting the puck into the stands to delay the game.”

        Get your facts before you comment on my posts.

  12. faceoff77 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    I would be willing to bet that if you did some sort of a scientific poll among all NHL fans, more would like the shootout than not.

    I was at the Jets/Canucks game last night with my 10 year old son and although overtime was fantastic (no stoppage at all) he was so excited that there would be a shootout. 15,004 fans on their feet for the entire shootout.

    Everyone hates the shootout just like everyone hates Nickelback. Some of you are liars because Nickelback has sold over 50 million albums.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      i’m with your thinking here. I absolutely love watching shootouts. but I think a lot of people are like me in saying that I hate the fact that games are decided by it.

      new rule: Exhibition shootout after EVERY game. that’s called compromise right there.

      Vote ibieiniid ’16

    • jpelle82 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      i think the canadians, japanese, and germans must have accounted for 45 of those 50 million sold….

      • infieldhit - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:03 PM

        Considering what else tops the charts in the US, I wouldn’t assume they’re not also culpable in contributing to Nickelback’s success.

  13. spydey629 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    They absolutely need to move to a 3-2-1 point system. The league won’t do it though, as the current system promotes the (artificial) parity the league is trumpeting.

    I’ve posted this before, but why not decrease the size of the pipe to increase the size of the net? Still 4×6, but there’d subtly be more space.

    As for my .02, I would love to see the NHL adopt some rules that the NCAA has been using for a couple years now:

    1) Yes, switching ends in OT. Totally doesn’t affect anything.
    2) If a team scores on a delayed penalty call, they still get the ensuing power play. A two-goal swing from one penalty is gigantic.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      one huge thing the hockey faithful will absolutely NOT go for: changing that glorious sound of puck on iron.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        but ya, i don’t see how that’s any different than keeping the same pipe size and making the opening bigger.

      • spydey629 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        The sound will still be there… just might be a slightly different pitch. 😉

    • jpelle82 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      but then refs might be more likely to swallow their whistles leading to less pp chances overall

  14. skr213 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    I’m open to #1 and #3, but #2 is just no good. Think about growing up playing goalie all your life. You instinctively know where those posts are by the time you’re playing pro. Now the size of the net is going to change? That’s like changing the size/weight of the puck. Just a little too far.

    • matt14gg - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:51 PM


    • sabatimus - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:51 PM

      The thing is, the shallower nets this season are making goalies adjust in a different way: they have to be faster when moving laterally. This was a big problem for Chad Johnson for a few games and since then he’s been fine. So the adjustment might take some time but it could be done.

  15. penguins87and71 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Okay first of all I don’t agree with the point system suggested above. The losing team should not get a point just because they got to overtime, neither should the winning team. What other professional sports league gives the losing team a conciliation prize for losing in OT? I think the point system should go like this: 2 points to the winning team if they win in regulation, 0 points for the team that loses. 1 point for the team that wins in OT and 0 points for the team that loses in OT. I would also extend the 4-4 OT to 10-15 minutes.

  16. bsaures - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    I think they need to change the point structure because it makes certain games worth more than others as it stands.

    For example Chicago and LA have the same number of wins this season. Chicago has 8 more points than LA. Both teams have won and lost the exact same number of games yet because it took them a bit longer to lose in 8 games. Hardly seems fair.

    A 3 point system along the following lines could work:

    3 points regulation win
    2 points OT/SO win
    1 Point OT/SO Loss
    0 regulation loss

    Keep ROW for the tiebreaker so that the OT wins are worth more than the SO wins.

  17. therealjr - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Really JB, I thought better of you than to seriously consider some bizarro rugby/Continental Basketball Association points system. The Simple 3 point system used in international play is a fine alternative.

    No icing on a PP would be almost as farcical, unless you really want to see teams have 40% success rates. There are plenty of other examples where you can do something in one circumstance but not in another, such as hand passes in the defensive zone.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      did you see my comment and pick the number 40, or are you like my version of Tyler Durden?

  18. btlpper68 - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    I think if they want shootouts and want to put presure on individual players skill, there should be a 5 rd shootout with a 3rd of you miss a couple times it’s over

  19. dburlew - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Instead of increasing the goal size, mainly to combat the shear growth of goalies over the past few generations, how bout we limit their pad size. But not in the traditional sense, where widths and heights are mandated for all goalies, regardless of their physical size. I’ve had a theory about limiting a goalie’s pad size based on area. A goal is a typical 4′ x 6′, giving a total of 24 sq. ft. So what if a goalie was only allowed to occupy 60%, or 65% of that? These monsters goalies, like Lindback, and Bishop that are listed at 6’7″ & 6’8″ respectively, when on their knees have their shoulders nearly as tall as the crossbar! So why not set a limit to the square footage a goalie can occupy in net? So a guy like Bishop would be required to wear smaller pads, because physically through shear size he takes up more room? Where a (now dwarf of a) 6’0″ goalie, say Jimmy Howard, would be afforded pads larger than Bishop to make up for the difference in total area?

  20. dburlew - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Instead of increasing the goal size, mainly to combat the shear growth of goalies over the past few generations, how bout we limit their pad size. But not in the traditional sense, where widths and heights are mandated for all goalies, regardless of their physical size. I’ve had a theory about limiting a goalie’s pad size based on area. A goal is a typical 4′ x 6′, giving a total of 24 sq. ft. So what if a goalie was only allowed to occupy 60%, or 65% of that? These monsters goalies, like Lindback, and Bishop that are listed at 6’7″ & 6’8″ respectively, when on their knees have their shoulders nearly as tall as the crossbar! So why not set a limit to the square footage a goalie can occupy in net? So a guy like Bishop would be required to wear smaller pads, because physically through shear size he takes up more room? Where a (now dwarf of a) 6’0″ goalie, say Jimmy Howard, would be afforded pads larger than Bishop to make up for the difference in total area?

    • hockeyflow33 - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:24 PM

      Please have some respect for the position.

  21. jake1199 - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Yeah and lets make the ice pink and have the hockey pucks the size of beach balls! I have heard it all now! Be like Fox making the puck glow! BRILLIANT IDEA!

    NOT! Only thing that would be nice if the ice surface changed to Olympic sIze! Now that is change! But not gonna happen as less dollars for the million dollar owners and players!

    • Jason Brough - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      Did you just make a “not” joke?

      • thailer35 - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    • ibieiniid - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:45 PM

      soooo…. you give no explanation as to why you don’t like any of those rules, so I’m assuming you’re against changing the game, period…. yet you want Olympic ice? what the ‘ehl.

  22. tedroosvelt - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    At least get the players on the PK to cross the defensive blue line before icing the puk…

    • skr213 - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      I like that. Good compromise.

  23. dbfan4ever - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Was right there with you until the no icing on penalty kills that would be awful

  24. deeboy - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    I think the crossing the defensive blue line tweak is the most reasonable compromise on that point. Not a fan of changing the goal dimensions. To me that is akin to changing the height of a basketball hoop.

  25. krebsy34 - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    If you want to make the nets bigger and or reduce the size of goalie equipment even more, you first need to look at the players sticks! Goalies are bigger now because they need to be. Before composite sticks not everyone could shoot the puck as fast as they can now. There is no reason Nathan Gerbe should be able to shoot has hard as Crosby or a bigger player. Now because every single shot a keeper faces is harder and faster, to make sure goalies are able to survive they need to have bigger and thicker equipment.

    A bulletproof vest may save your life, but you are sure as hell going to feel it. Now why don’t you tell someone that they have to endure that every single day. Bruise after bruise, not having time for them to heal. Facing dozens, hundreds of shots a week, and you are going to tell goalies that it’s their fault.

    No way! Players with these composite sticks can all shoot faster. I’m not saying that people cant shoot hard with wood sticks, I’m saying that not everyone can shoot hard with wood sticks. That’s the point. The consistent hard shots are what necessitates goalies to have bigger equipment.

    Making the net’s bigger is foolish. You already stated that goalies are bigger, and you want to make the nets even bigger? Eventually it’ll turn into basketball where only 7 footers will play keeper. So long to the Enroth’s and Osgood’s of the world.

    The sport science below shows how the size of the goalie isn’t everything.

  26. zinger99 - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    You don’t make the nets bigger. You make the goalie’s equipment smaller. It’s been completely out of hand for years and don’t tell me it’s a safety issue. With today’s technology they can streamline the equipment and make it just as safe. Their pads alone are a good 10 inches too high! The equipment is just too big. It looks that much bigger on a big guy. Imagine Ken Dryden or John Davidson wearing today’s equipment!

    • hockeyflow33 - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      10 inches too high? What does this even mean?

      You do understand that the majority of goalies in the league now have been coached positionally since they started playing the position right? It’s why if you see a high school or prep school game, every goalie’s footwork is off the charts and they tend to be in proper position most of the time.

  27. mnhockeydad - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    I’m personally OK with slightly larger nets. I want to see more good shots (goals) than garbage goals.

    In soccer the kids play with different sized fields and nets all the way up to 13 years.

    Question is where would we draw the line on the size of the nets. It wouldn’t be just Professional as you’d want a reliable indicator before drafting goalies to see if they are just as effective.

    I’m thinking you’d start at High School. That seems to make sense until you start thinking about girls hockey. Should Girls HS Hockey have the Pro size net?

    This all makes it sound like I’m against it, but I’m not.

    What I really want is the new PRO size in my men’s league. So far this year I have zero goals but I did hit a pipe last week.

  28. jetedz - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    Igo back to playing 5 on 5 hockey until there is a winner. 1 point for winner. 0 points for a looser. Move OT periods to a free web / nhl app broadcast if the networks can’t handle the scheduling.

  29. chiadam - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    Three major changes that the NHL should consider:
    1. Whenever appearing in public, Gary Bettman should wear a diaper.
    2. Gary Bettman should never be allowed within ten feet of the Stanley Cup, but he should still present it so fans can boo the $%&* out of him and his diaper. He can just be wheeled out like Hannibal Lecter and placed off to the side.
    3. The next time Gary Bettman says “Hey, why don’t we expand to….” at a BOG meeting, he will be stripped of his job.

  30. zinger99 - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    I’m sure Bettman would love a franchise in Omaha!

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:57 AM

      He does want more teams out west… I think he’s holding out for Honolulu.

  31. hockeyflow33 - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    Bigger nets is honestly the dumbest thing that continues to come up every year.

    A 7-5 game isn’t special and actually diminishes what a goal is; it’s the reason basketball is boring until the last minute.

    What excites crowds are scoring chances, something radically altering the game by changing the size of the net won’t bring about.

  32. guitarmy204 - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    I think they should go to a 3-2-1 point system.

    3 points for win in regulation
    2 points for win in OT
    1 point for shootout win.

    loser gets 0 points.

  33. csilojohnson - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    really? most of your suggestions would completely change the sport.
    whats good for the buisness is not always good for the sport. (see NFL)

  34. csilojohnson - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    10-15 minute sudden death OT.
    Shootout problem solved.
    Why make it more complicated then it is?

  35. sportsfaninyyc - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    Why shouldn’t a team be able to ice the puck while short-handed? In no other sport does a penalty leave you with less players on the field than the other team. Bigger nets? If it goes that way, I’ll probably stop watching. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

  36. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:04 AM

    Not a fan of changing net sizes… but I get why it makes some sense. Goalies today are a lot bigger (not just the pads) than they were in the past. A LOT of 6’4+ goalies out there now.

    One little thing the league could do to increase the scoring is make all penalties major penalties instead of minor penalties. That means if you get a 2 minute penalty you need to serve the entire 2 min, regardless if the other teams scores. Give teams a chance to score a couple of PP goals.

  37. butski29 - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:48 AM

    The bottom line is this===

    1) Olympic sized rink, PERIOD!!! Why? Speed and creativity are rewarded. Goals scored, despite ridiculous goaltender pad size, which needs to be significantly reduced.

    2) Two points for a win and NOTHING FOR A LOSS!!!!!!! Why? Because you should not get anything for a damn loss!!!!!!!

    3) OT until someone wins. First OT five on five. The rest four on four. Why? Teams and coaching staffs will be forced to play aggressively for a win. There will no “sister kisser” BS boring play for a trip to the shootout and hope your goalie has his Mojo. This and point #2 force teams to play hard and honest from the drop of the puck. If it goes three OT’s then the fans get a bonus, the teams pay for not getting their head out of their back side earlier in the game, and nobody wants to play the second of a back to back after playing five overtimes. They will push to win outright. Intensity will increase and fans like myself will explode with excitement.

  38. patshal - Mar 14, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    Are you stupid or something whatever your name is. Those rules are stupid and idiotic. Leave it at that. You are completely changing the game. You’d be better off inventing a new sport with a different name than call it hockey with those rules

    • ibieiniid - Mar 14, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      you talking to the writer? his name is clearly posted at the top.

  39. hockeydon10 - Mar 14, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    The number one issue is not the number of goals. Rather, it’s teams playing it safe just to get to overtime. Often times with less than 10 minutes left both teams stop taking as many chances with the knowledge that the loser points could propel them into the playoffs.

    Take away that incentive and teams will stop playing it so safe if it’s a tight game late in the 3rd.

    But, the fact is taking away the loser point wouldn’t be enough. Changing the point system would also be required. What’s needed is a point system that rewards regulation wins more than OT or SO wins. As has been said over and over by many different people:
    3 point regulation win
    2 point OT win
    1 point shootout win
    0 point loss

    This would make teams stop playing it safe in the 3rd, knowing that even if they win in OT or SO the loss of the extra points a regulation win gives them may mean the difference between making the playoffs and being sent to the golf course.

  40. psousa1 - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Just cut down the size of the goaltender pads, trapper and blocker. Leave the PK alone.

    I personally don’t give a horse’s crap about “growing the game”. I don’t care what you do you are not going to convert someone in Arkansas or Mississippi to a hockey fan. Just don’t piss of your current and loyal fan base

  41. laxnhockey - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Go back to the original point system, which didn’t need changing to begin with. A team shouldn’t be rewarded with a point for losing a game. Two points are available; you win you get one, lose you get nothing.

    The nets don’t need to be changed, limit the size of the goalie pads if you need to but the size of the person wearing the pads shouldn’t dictate this change. The players are faster, stronger and have a much better stick than they did back in the day. The composite sticks alone create a huge advantage, and have been a game changer. I’ve got a slapshot I never had because of those sticks.

    If a team is on a penalty kill, it’s not icing; it’s relief. They’re working off a two minute disadvantage already and now you want to penalize them again? Makes no sense and isn’t necessary.

    It’s a great game, stop screwing around with it.

    The other item I would address is joey4id’s acute case of narcissism.

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