Research and Development Camp

It’s been two weeks since the NHL held the second annual Research and Development Camp and in this article we’re going to quickly review some of the changes they tried out. Think about them for a bit and be sure to leave your comments below.

“No Touch” Icing and “Hybrid” Icing

The difference between the no touch and hybrid icing is that in hybrid icing if the forward looks like they are going to win the race when reaching the face off dot in the opposing teams end the play continues. If the defensive player is ahead, the play is whistled dead and icing is called. The hybrid is gaining more support than the no touch option that is used in international hockey, as it still creates a race for the puck but does help eliminate some of the risk for both offensive and defensive players.

It’s unlikely that either will be implemented during the 2011-12 season, but I think we’re getting closer to changing the current icing rules to become hybrid icing in the NHL over the next couple of years.

Verification Line and Shallow Nets

A green line was placed inside the net exactly 3 inches behind the goal line to help judge when the puck has completely crossed the goal line (see image above). The shallow net goes from a 44″ frame to a 40″ one and allows for a bit more room behind the net.

Both these changes look like they could be implemented possibly even for the start of this season.

Face-off Variations

Some different options tried were:

  • face-offs only conducted in a face-off circle not on a neutral zone dot
  • same linesman drops the puck for all draws
  • a 1-foot penalty line for players committing a face-off violation
  • any player committing a violation (ie. encroachment) can’t take the draw
  • a whistle being blown to ready the centerman who can’t move until the puck is dropped

At this point it seems unlikely that any of these changes will find their way into the game, but a lot of focus was spent on trying to improve the fairness of the draws so watch for some changes in upcoming seasons.

Remove the Trapezoid

The trapezoid rule has not worked out as well as they had expected and it is likely it could be removed in the next year or two.

Delayed Penalty, No icing when short handed and serve full time of penalty

The delayed penalty rule forced the team to not just gain possession of the puck but have to also clear the zone before the play is whistled dead. No icing when short handed and serving the full time of the penalty are pretty self explanatory. Both are meant to increase scoring opportunities and reduce penalties in the game.

The least likely to be implemented will be the full penalty time being served but I would not be surprised if the delayed penalty rule comes into the game in a few years.

Overtime/Shoot Out

Several variations were tried, from switching ends for overtime creating the long change situation, going to a 3-on-3 after the 4-on-4, expanding the shoot out to five shooters and allowing repeat shooters if it’s tied after the first shoot out round.

Any of these changes could be implemented but if any are, the most likely is the five shooters in the shoot out.

There were a few other rules tried out, but it’s unlikely any of them will see any serious contention. It’s possible that none of the changes tried out could be implemented. However, we believe the changes to the goal will likely be implemented soon. Other than that, it’ll likely be a few years until any other changes take place.

What do you think? Is it right for the NHL to keep messing with the game we all love? Do you think any of the new things they tried are awesome or ridiculous? Leave a comment below and join the conversation.

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Jeff Stevenson is a co-founder of and co-host of the popular Jets Hockey Podcast. He grew up in Winnipeg, MB and became very passionate about sports, hockey and the Jets. Now Jeff is proud and honored to help bring news and information about the Winnipeg Jets to fans around the world.