Every year the NHL changes a few rules. There a few steps to new rules being put in place with the first being a group of NHL players, coaches, GMs, and owners called the “Competition Committee” getting together to come up with recommendations that are then sent to the GM’s meetings for review.
That group recently met and they came up with six changes they recommend for the 2019-20 season. Here’s what they recommended and how I feel about each of the potential rule changes.
Helmets Off During Play – The Committee recommends work on a rule construct for implementation next season that would reasonably require a player to leave the ice in the event his helmet comes off during play.
It’s kind of surprising this rule hadn’t been put in place already. I’m not even a favor of the word “reasonably” being in this recommendation. Let’s just simplify it, no helmet, no hockey. If you lose your helmet, get the heck off the ice.
Expanded Video Review/Coach’s Challenge – The Committee recommends changes to the Coach’s Challenge and expanded video review, including as it relates to a Referee’s ability to review some of his own calls on the ice. Recommendations will be prepared for the League’s Board of Governors, General Managers and the NHLPA’s Executive Board.
This is fairly vague, so we’ll still have to wait and see what they end up going with for next year. I’ve made it fairly clear how I would like the see the review process changes, both here and on the latest SinBin.vegas Podcast. So we’ll skip this one, but at least we know some change is coming.
Goalies Unnecessarily Freezing Puck – The Committee recommends that the defensive team not be permitted a line change when a goalie freezes the puck on any shot from outside the center red line. The offensive team will have the choice of which end zone dot the face-off will take place.
Absolutely love this rule and hope it’s the beginning of more rules banning goalies from freezing the puck. This particular one is a simple change that won’t effect the game much at all, but it’s opening the door for more.
I’d like to see the rule go as far as, no freezing the puck unless the goalie is in the crease. I’d also like to see referees and linesmen be a little more proactive forcing goalies to put the puck back in play. If the goalie doesn’t oblige, use the NBA’s style of delay of game where there’s one warning before a penalty is called.