NHL Competition Committee wants icing, power-play changes

NASHVILLE – The NHL/NHLPA Competition Committee has made two recommendations for rules changes.

And boy are they ever game-changers!

From the NHL:

Rule 87 Time-outs: The Committee recommends a change so that no time-out shall be granted following an icing for the team that committed the icing infraction. 

Rule 80.4: The Committee recommends a change so that when a team has a power-play and a player on the team at full strength causes a stoppage of play as the result of striking the puck with a high stick in the offensive zone, the resulting face-off shall be made in the neutral zone on the nearest face-off spot. This makes the rule consistent with the how the face-off is addressed when there is a stoppage under the same circumstances when both teams are at full strength. 

Clearly, the Committee has identified the only remaining flaws in this otherwise perfect game: Timeouts after icings and some kind of faceoff thingy on special teams.

Slashing, boarding and obstruction? Nah. Offside rules that are myopic and counterproductive? Nope. Fundamental changes to shot blocking? Nah.

But the timeouts after icings, which coaches will now get around by having the goalie’s mask strap come off or some other sneaky nonsense? Got’er!

The new rules recommendations still require approval by the NHLPA’s Executive Board and the NHL’s Board of Governors, at which point the language of the rules will be formalized.

The NHLPA was represented by David Backes (Boston Bruins), Michael Cammalleri (New Jersey Devils), Cory Schneider via phone (New Jersey Devils) and Daniel Winnik (Washington Capitals), while Ron Hainsey (Pittsburgh Penguins) was unable to attend. The NHL was represented by General Managers Peter Chiarelli (Edmonton Oilers), Jim Nill (Dallas Stars), David Poile (Nashville Predators) and Doug Wilson via phone (San Jose Sharks). NHL coaches Ken Hitchcock (Dallas Stars) and Barry Trotz (Washington Capitals) also participated by phone as non-voting members. The Competition Committee is co-chaired by Mathieu Schneider, National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) Special Assistant to the Executive Director, and Colin Campbell, National Hockey League (NHL) Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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