Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A little sun, A little fun, not much done...

The NHL's General Managers have put away the golf clubs for a few days, their 48 hours or so in the Florida sun now at an end and the business of playoff hockey now at hand (Brian Burke, Scott Howson, of course are excused from this portion of the agenda).

Beyond the games of golf, the celebration of Pat Quinn's many achievements and the general camaraderie of the gathering, the GM's apparently looked over a few ideas for rule changes, some good, some of the what the hell category.

One that caught our eye was the prospect of adopting Ringette rules for NHL use, a trial balloon that most likely will have Don Cherry apoplectic by Saturday nights church service on Hockey Night.

To avoid the prospect of returning the red line to NHL prominence the GM's have decided to look over at the world of Ringette for an example, which features a line across the top of the face off circles in each zone, the adoption of which it is hoped would increase the need for defence men to handle the puck rather than just blast it down the ice and hope for the best.

While the on ice marking line gains the most attention, purists may worry that the NHL may just rewrite their entire rule book based on the various chapters of the Ringette bible for hockey.

Now we can't say we are very familiar with Ringette, so the rule change under study may or may not be a workable solution to all that ails the NHL,  but we wonder if the NHL may wish to explore Ringette's rules further, for instance the shot clock rule could change the whole dynamic of the  Tampa Bay Lightning's less than hurried approach to hockey at times.

Also for the concussion weary NHL, perhaps adopting the no contact rule from Ringette would surely reduce the prospect of a Sidney Crosby having to take a season off to recover from wayward elbows and such.

And really, when was the last time you saw a YouTube rock em sock em video from a ringette game?

Of course adoption of the Ringette blue print  would render the word truculence no longer to be part of the lexicon of the Leaf Nation.

Traditionalist longing for the old days may anticipate that the ringette line experiment is but the thin wedge the Don Cherry has long warned us about.

Some of the reviews of the hard work completed can be found below:

Globe and Mail-- GMs united behind hybrid icing rule
Globe and Mail-- NHL GMs express support for hybrid icing
National Post-- NHL GM meetings: Hybrid icing gains support
Toronto Star-- NHL general managers looking to tweak the game
Toronto Sun-- 'Ringette line' to be tested by AHL
TSN-- Potential rule changes and how officials adapt
TSN-- NHL GMs meet to debate player safety, rule change proposals

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