On Wednesday, NHL on NBC contributor Bob McKenzie made his in-studio debut, and spoke to Liam McHugh about a variety of league-wide issues:
As McKenzie notes, there hasn’t been much movement on the Seattle arena front lately. At the end of September, chief investor Chris Hansen reportedly submitted all the requisite paperwork to the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, and a department spokesperson responded by saying its final report would be ready by mid-to-late January at the earliest.
On the rule change front — specifically, regarding the dry scrape — here’s what Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said in his most recent 30 Thoughts column:
The NHL has heard the complaints about the dry scrape. The new protocol for this season is do it before overtime, instead of prior to the shootout. It’s led to a barrage of tweets about slowing down the game, killing momentum, etc. During a conference call with the teams on Monday, the league reminded them to make sure the zambonis are ready, so the scrape is done “as quickly and efficiently as possible.” Personally, I found it just as much of a buzz-kill before the shootout, so why not get it out of the way sooner?
It’s also worth noting that the Ontario Hockey League also experimented with the pre-OT dry scrape during the preseason, only to scrap it amidst complaints of the process taking too long.