Reviewing The Potential Changes

NHLWe're in store for some pretty serious changes to NHL hockey this season. The competition committee will recommended rule changes for the NHL board of governors to approve. Bob McKenzie speculates in his latest column as to what these changes will be, so I'll list them and share my thoughts on each one.

Shootouts - After five minutes of four on four, all regular season games will be decided by a shootout. As far as I'm concerned, this is a good move. It will certainly add some excitement and it will be nice to do away with the boring ties. Of course, I only support shootouts as an interesting way to resolve regular season games. When the playoffs arrive, they play five on five until someone scores. No exceptions.

Obstruction Crackdown - This isn't really a change, just another promise to actually enforce the existing rules. I'm all for it.

Red Line Removal - The red line would be removed for the purpose of two line passes. Back in the day, I felt the two line pass kept players honest and prevented Bure-like goal sucking. Today, I'm in favour of this change. Those long bombs up the middle can be pretty damn exciting and back and forth action will be our reward.

Goalie Equipment Reduction - It's about freakin' time. When Patrick Roy retired, they showed a lot of footage from his rookie year. He was about half the size as he was when he retired. Goalie equipment with those huge net-like sweaters has been too big for too long. I applaud this move.

Although I'm somewhat of a traditionalist when it comes to sports, I understand the need to tweak our game to increase the excitement factor. I don't regard any of these changes as too radical. I just want to get back to playing.

Go Leafs Go!

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