Tag: GM meetings

Pierre Gauthier

GMs recommend hybrid icing


The hybrid icing rule took another step towards being a part of the NHL when the GMs agreed to recommend it to the Competitions Committee in June. As we mentioned yesterday, USA Hockey has a video explaining the hybrid icing rule.

It’s worth noting that the GMs will try to eliminate the gray zones they think exists in the rule’s United States Hockey League and NCAA format before bringing it to the Committee.

“It’s easy to have these ideas and try to push them forward, but when it comes time to actually write up the rules and think of all the situations and all the scenarios that could happen on the ice, making it clear enough so that we can give our on-ice officials the proper direction, there is a lot of work to do,” Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier said. “It’s going to go forward as a recommendation, but there is some cleaning up as to how exactly it is going to work and what directives we’re going to give.”

At least two-thirds of the Competitions Committee must vote in favor of it before it can be sent to the Board of Governors. From there, the Board of Governors can chose to ratify it for next season.

GM Meetings: Gillis hopes to penalize defensive zone hand passes

Mike Gillis

If Canucks GM Mike Gillis gets his way, players who perform a defensive zone hand pass will get a minor penalty. The motivation, as you might have guessed, is to improve the attacking team’s chances of scoring. So this might be a small step towards addressing a bigger problem: despite all the chances made following the lockout, scoring is on the decline once again.

Based on figures from hockey-reference, the number of goals scored per game has dropped significantly since it spiked in the season following the lockout. You can notice that change easily enough by just looking at the leaderboard. Last season Daniel Sedin was the only player to exceed the 100-point mark and Corey Perry was our only 50 goal scorer. Back in 2005-06, we had five guys hit or exceed the 50-goal milestone and seven players finish with at least 100 points.

There’s likely no single reason for the decline in goals, but one of the glaring differences between the 2005-06 campaign and today is the number of power-play opportunities. We’ve seen a steep decline in the number of power plays during the last seven years. That’s relevant because in addition to aiding the attacking team, this new rule might lead to more penalties per game. It probably won’t enough to make a major dent, but it might help as part of a larger effort.

GM Meetings: Removal of trapezoid gaining some support

Image (1) brodeurandthetrapezoid-thumb-250x166-18316.jpg for post 3055

Among the rule changes the NHL GMs are discussing during this week’s meetings is the elimination of the trapezoid. The trapezoid has been in place since the lockout in the hope that it would improve the flow of game and hinder a goaltender’s ability to clear the puck. However, some GMs argue that defensemen are absorbing needless hits because goaltenders can’t assist.

Sharks GM Doug Wilson wanted to get rid of it three years ago, but his proposal fell on deaf ears. This time might be different.

“We have more support and will take to it the bigger group tomorrow,” Wilson said.

Only time will tell if the GMs end up supporting such a rule change, but like the hybrid icing change, which seems to have gained traction today, this potential move will hopefully make the game safer.

GM Meetings: Red line rule doesn’t gain much traction

Ken Hitchcock

For all the talk about safety in the GM meetings, the worry was that there would be some over-correction that could accelerate the NHL’s return to the Dead Puck Era. Of course, the most obvious example is the discussion to bring the red line back – and therefore eliminate the two-line pass along with (perhaps) some of the grinding hits that come with dump-and-chase strategies that (supposedly) arise from the red line’s removal.

Neutral zone trap Chicken Littles can breathe easily, though, as Yahoo’s Nick Cotsonika is among the reporters who passed along news that the move to remove the red line didn’t gain much traction.

I’ll just insert this excerpt from Cotsonika, which is basically acting as a text-based stress reliever:

Some GMs came to the meeting in favor of the idea, thinking the game had become too fast and too simple, with teams firing the puck through the neutral zone and simply tipping it into the offensive end. Their thinking is that re-instituting the red line would slow down the game or add skill through the neutral zone.

(Quick aside: I’m not saying that there’s NO skill involved with navigated the neutral zone, but I still laughed out loud at the notion that re-instituting the red line who be a good thing for skill players.)

But there wasn’t much support among the small group that discussed it, according to the Detroit Red Wings’ Ken Holland. The worry is that teams will start trapping in the neutral zone the way they used to or just find another way to adjust.

“I think pretty well everybody in our group agrees that they like it the way it us,” Holland said. “We can change the rules, but we’re going to have another set of circumstances five years from now and four years from now. That’s the problem.”

Don’t mind me, I’m just going to dance on the grave of that horrible, horrible idea.

More GM Meetings goodness:

Burke gets dirt in his face part one: No “bear hug” rule.

More Burke dirt: Puck-over-the-glass delay of game penalty seems here to stay.

Brendan Shanahan breaks the meetings down.

Hybrid icing gets a serious look.

GM Meetings: Pucks over the glass still = penalties

Boston Bruins v New York Rangers

A little earlier this afternoon, we discussed Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke’s somewhat melodramatic reaction to his beloved bear hug rule being received about as well as the idea of actually being “hugged” by a bear. (Editor’s note: they’re not going to hug you, Grizzly Man.)

Burke wasn’t just bummed about the bear hug rule, though. He also brought up a far less controversial idea to eliminate one of the NHL’s most polarizing post-lockout penalties: an automatic delay of game minor if a player sends the puck over the glass in his own zone. Hockey purists go wild over the penalty and Burke agreed – but other GMs didn’t share his opinion, according to what he told James Mirtle.

Thus when Burke discussed getting “dirt kicked in his face,” he might have been describing a double shot of sorts.

A lesser evil

Personally speaking, I’ve been a bit divided on the delay of game penalty. There are times when whistling it seems arbitrary, but call this viewpoint jaded if you like, but there’s a certain cleanness about taking some guesswork out of referees’ hands. I think NHL zebras get far too much of a hard time for making tough calls in one of the world’s fastest sports, yet the significant decay of obstruction penalties shows that they’ll swallow their whistles when they can.

Ultimately, I’d like it to be a judgment call, but much like the shootout, it’s probably best to shift to bigger issues. I’d rather the league focus on a) no-brainers like removing the trapezoid and instituting hybrid icing and b) actually enforcing rules that already exist.

(To Burke’s delight, it seems like hybrid icing might actually happen.)


Where do you stand on the polarizing puck-over-the-glass penalty, though? Do you hate it, understand it or maybe a combination of the two? Do tell.