The USHL is experimenting with an interesting rule change during its preseason. When a team is killing a penalty, it will not be allowed to ice the puck.
The junior league says that the experiment — which is “designed to create more offensive situations” — will “provide a sampling that can be reviewed” by professional leagues, “including the NHL.”
I actually wrote about this idea in March as one I’d like to see given more consideration. It’s never really made sense to me that a penalized team should be allowed to do something that’s not allowed five-on-five.
And the NHL has considered this rule change before, in the summer of 2011 at the league’s research and development camp.
As then-league executive Brendan Shanahan put it, “When you start thinking about the fact that we give an advantage to the penalty-killers in that they’re allowed to ice the puck, you start to wonder: They’ve broken a rule, they’ve gotten a penalty, so now we’re going to let them break this other rule just for those two minutes.”
Obviously, the NHL didn’t feel strongly enough to experiment further. And some are totally fine with that.
We’ll see how it looks in the USHL.