The NHL is introducing 4 new rule changes for the 2008-2009 season. I am not always in agreement with changes that are introduced by the league but I have to say that 3 of the 4 new tweaks should help the game. I think that #2 could be a good rule but it is very subjective and the refs will not enforce it properly.
- A change to Rule 76.2 ("Face-Offs") will place the first face-off of a power play in the defending zone of the team that committed the foul.
- A change to Rule 81.1 ("Icing") states that "Any contact between opposing players while pursuing the puck on an icing must be for the sole purpose of playing the puck and not for eliminating the opponent from playing the puck. Unnecessary or dangerous contact could result in penalties being assessed to the offending player."
- A change to Rule 85.5 ("Face-Off Location") provides that if a puck is shot off the goal frame, goal post or crossbar, the subsequent face-off will remain in the end zone where the puck went out of play.
- I can't find the official wording for this one but I've heard that its approved. When a puck is iced intentionally the game will NOT be delayed but a tv timeout even if one was scheduled. This is a great rule change as coaches really started to abuse this last year and take advantage of the ability to ice the puck when they knew a tv timeout was coming. Bravo NHL.
Now next year, slim down the goalie equipment.