Despite the Stanley Cup being awarded to the Detroit Red Wings, hockey talk is never over. The draft is in a couple of days, free agency is about to begin and trade rumours are heating up.
But yesterday, the NHL announced some new rules changes. Here they are, with my thoughts on each new rule in italics:
1) The first faceoff on a powerplay will automatically be in the offensive end.
This is a good new rule that could increase scoring, and might have to change coaching strategy. Instead of being able to rest your best faceoff guy for a faceoff later in the penalty, a coach might need to put him on the ice right away. That might change penalty-killing lines. It also benefits the team with the powerplay, as they don’t need to waste time moving the puck up the ice and trying to get into the offensive zone.
2) When a puck hits the goalpost or crossbar and goes out of play, the faceoff stays in the offensive zone.
In the past, the faceoff went outside the zone. This is another good new rule that will help benefit offensive teams, and like above, may make a difference who you keep on the ice for the faceoff.
3) On icing, a player can not run to beat out on icing and take out the other player (either on offense or defense). Any contact at all that takes a man out of the play is a penalty.
This is a rule designed to try and lower injuries on icing calls. It might take a while to get used to, but it’s a safety issue.