NHL

NHL GMs discuss potential rule changes in ‘evolving’ game.

NHL GMs discuss potential rule changes in ‘evolving’ game.

TORONTO– NHL general managers met for about five hours in Toronto on Tuesday, mostly going over rules points and setting up in-depth discussions for their March 13-15 meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.

The NHL’s hockey operations department showed GMs videos of nuances in the game now and new moves that could challenge interpretations of the rules in the future.

“It’s a compelling product, it’s evolving, and there are players doing all kinds of things that we wouldn’t have thought of 25 or 30 years ago,” NHL director of operations Stephen Walkom said. “We had some unique plays that we could show them, like a player taking the puck on a shot attempt and bringing it lacrosse style and keeping it under the shoulders. When is it legal? When is it illegal ? What can it do when it reaches the network?”

One GM suggested adding video review to see if a player shoots the puck over the glass in the defensive zone, resulting in a delay of game penalty. NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell said the idea comes up from time to time, but it’s difficult to get the right camera angle and consistent TV replays.

One GM suggested reducing the penalty for a missed coach’s challenge from under two minutes for delay of game to a missed timeout, but that could have unintended consequences. The purpose of the penalty is to ensure that coaches only challenge in obvious situations and to reduce the number of challenges.

The GMs continued some common debates, such as the definition of a different kicking motion, which determines whether a goal counts when a puck enters the net off a skate.

“I said, ‘This is ‘Groundhog Day’ times 10,”’ Campbell said. “We’ve been dealing with how a puck should be tackled for 25 years. It’s fine until it happens in the second round of the fourth game of the Battle of Alberta. There will be different opinions. Two million people north of Red Deer agreed with us and 2 million people south of Red Deer disagreed with us. So how can we make this decision easier?”

Walkom said GMs reviewed tweaks that have had positive effects. They saw a couple of examples where officials called a major penalty on a play that resulted in an injury, then rescinded it after reviewing the play with video and a former official in Toronto’s situation room.

“It was a small change in the rules, but it worked,” Walkom said. “It was good for the game. Nobody wants to see a player hurt, and the refs wanted to make sure they didn’t miss anything on the play.”

The NHL has seen numerous examples of players understanding the helmet rule better, picking up their helmet, putting it back on, and returning to the game instead of automatically walking off the ice. Officials are using common sense to enforce the rule if the puck is in close proximity and a play can be made, and have also identified when a player has deliberately removed another player’s helmet and called for a minor penalty for assault.

“All these little changes that have been made over time have added up to a great game, and we just want to continue to maintain it,” Walkom said.

The GMs watched the goalies pull the net from the moorings.

“We said, ‘Is it a trend — the goalie, when he’s under pressure, shooting the net — and if so, how do you want us to deal with it?’ Do you want us to give him a penalty? ” Campbell said. “Maybe they want us to give him a penalty now, until it happens to them.”

Walkom said the NHL will monitor the situation during the season, and GMs will take a closer look in March, when they break into small groups to discuss issues, bring their thoughts back to the main group and decide whether to recommend rule changes. to the competition committee.

“How is it [the net] does it go off?” Walkom said. “Does it go off at a higher frequency? Is it a result of how the goalies are playing or is it something to do with the technology in the cleats? So we’re monitoring it to discuss it in March.”





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