WOOOOOO…Hockey Rules!! Oh wait…that logo is referring to actual rules?!? Well…let’s get this over with.
Ahem…since the dawn of time man has yearned to increase the overall goal totals in NHL hockey games and, for just about the same amount of time, man has argued about the rules of the game and why they can never be altered to allow such a thing to happen. More recently you’ve heard the NHL toy with everything from soccer nets to a three-point-line in an attempt to increase scoring but, at the end of each cycle, they settle with a couple of flaccid, toothless minor equipment adjustments and some morally ambiguous “proportional sizing“.
Not that you can blame them, hockey fans are notoriously hard on their sport and that goes doubly when they’re aiming their derision at the men in suits. So, since I tend to pull for the underdog (and it doesn’t get much more underdoggy than the guy who looks like The Penguin’s little brother and gets booed literally everywhere he goes, including when presenting the Stanley Cup to a home town team), I thought I’d give Gary Bettman a hand and give him a few juicy rule changes he can use to pacify the masses…I present you with the….rules you’d be stupid not to implement (working title).
1 – Let Them Play…..the puck.
Get rid of that ridiculous “trapezoid”. I’m not convinced that stopping goalies from playing the puck every once and a while is really having the affect the NHL wanted, not too mention how incredibly rude it is take away this part of a goalies game and, more importantly, it’s incredibly frustrating having to explain seemingly pointlessly complicated hockey rules to non-hockey fans.
And let’s be honest, we’re only one broken leg away from no-touch icing anyway, which will make these even more useless.
The only argument I need: Hockey rules should not double as great geometry exam questions.
2 – Goalies as Fair Game.
Let them play the puck, but make them think about it. OK, so maybe not truly fair game, but fair enough that you don’t have to act like you’re taking communion from the Pope when all you’re trying to do is get a puck away from Reggie Lemelin. Also, a little more freedom when rushing a goalie could go a looong way to creating more of those goalie bloopers we all know and love.
Another poor goalie, accosted by a brutish Atlanta Thrasher forward.
3 – Make all Curves Legal.
Good god, is it not time for this? It’s basically accepted that Ovechkin is using an illegal curve. If it’s good enough for the best shooter in the world today, it’s good enough for me. Even without that argument, what reason could we possibly have to keep it? Leave some common sense clause in there that stops Sean Avery from walking out with a blade that looks like a pair of BBQ tongs lying on the ice and BE DONE WITH IT.
Ovechkin's stick blade, bent like a warm piece of licorice.
4 – Change Implementation of the Too Many Men Rule.
This is my pet cause…to be honest, this whole article is written to house this one complaint. It’s simple…at no time can there be more than 5 pairs of skates on the ice. No more of this as-many-players-as-you-want-as-long-as-they-dont-touch-the-puck bullshit. I don’t know what it is people don’t get about this, the argument is always the same, “he’s not playing the puck”, well get ready, because your logic is as cloudy as the ice at a Dallas Stars triple-OT playoff game and I am the Zamboni of truth; IT DOESN’T MATTER IF HE TOUCHES THE PUCK, he’s gaining a position, it affects the game the just as much as actually physically touching the puck! Therefore, it should be illegal.
You force players to change properly and you have more space, more odd-man rushes, more stretch pass breakaways, longer shifts resulting in tired defencemen and therefore….more goals. End of story.
It should be noted, I’m not necessarily in favour of increasing scoring, I think a 1-0 double overtime hockey game is one of the greatest things a man can enjoy on this planet, and therefore I’m not necessarily advocating any of these rules (except the too many men rule, that would just be too kick-ass).