The NHL’s GM’s are set to meet in the next few weeks and one topic that always seems to arise is how the league can help boost scoring.
Finding ways to improve the league, while not upsetting the traditional values of the game is tough. There has always been talk about making the nets bigger, but that’s died off recently. You can also look back at the attempts to try and shrink goalie equipment, but those didn’t make too much of an impact.
The idea that I’m about to pitch is weird, to say the least, and is far from traditional, but I think it’s actually a decent way to improve the way the game is played. Hear me out:
Right now, teams can change lines whenever they wish, with the exception of when they ice the puck. I want to ramp that up. How about not allowing teams to change whenever they are the cause of the whistle?
When a team goes offside, they cant change. If a team gets whistled for playing a puck with a high-stick or a hand pass, no line change for them. And the most radical of them all, if a team commits a penalty, the four players who didn’t commit the infraction must start the penalty kill.
Essentially, unless your changing on the fly or your goalie covers the puck, the same players must stay on the ice.
It would increase scoring, while not punishing skill or disrupting the way the game is played. It would almost entirely get rid of home-ice advantage because the road team would have the only change at times, which would improve matchups for skilled players. It would also force players who are tired or fatigued, to stay on the ice.
I’m especially interested in the idea of not letting a team that just took a penalty make a change. I’ve written about it before in regards to icing the puck on a powerplay, but why should a team that just took a penalty be given a helping hand?
You break the rules, well then the players you have on the ice can start the penalty kill, rather than your ‘PK Specialists’.
If you don’t like it? Well, get the puck out of your zone in a legal way, don’t go offside or simply: don’t break the rules and you’ll be fine.
It’s a weird idea, and most might see it as a bad idea, but I look at it as a way to change the game in a good way, without disrupting the tradition of the sport.