Friday, July 13, 2007

Potential College Hockey Rule Changes

USCHO has an article up about the potential rules changes that have been discussed at their annual meeting. There are a few very interesting--some radical--changes that have been discussed.

Two Referee, One Lineseman: I'm against this, simply because I feel that there aren't enough good officials in college hockey to have a ONE referee system, let alone two. I posted a few weeks ago about the sorry state of CCHA officiating now that Steve Piotrowski has hung up the whistle. And now we want to double the number of refs? Let's concentrate on finding two or three that don't suck before we double the ranks.

One thing that I wonder about--and it doesn't get addressed in the article--is if one/both of the referees will be allowed to call offsides? There has to be a linesman on each side of the blueline. And it would make things horribly tough for that single linesman in transition if the refs don't help out.

A Crackdown on Delaying The Game: Like it. Especially for the positional players. It drives me bonkers when a player just reaches out, pulls the puck underneath him, and there's no Delay of Game call.

Embellishment: Everyone should know by now that I hate players who dive. Anything that works to get it out of the game is fine by me. Hopefully the NBA is next.

Overtime: I also typically hate ties. And they've discussed a variety of methods to eliminating them. One being the standard 4 on 4 OT. One being 4 on 4 and then a shootout. Those are my two favorite options. I could take or leave the shootout. They're fun to watch, but I also get that it's vastly different from the game as a whole, and I don't like that part of it (similar to how I hate soccer penalty kicks).

One option that was discussed, which is clever but far too radical in my opinion, would be to implement a "college football" type overtime. Teams would alternate 2 minute powerplays until someone was ahead at the end of a rotation. Again, I think that's too different from the game as a whole. It's definitely creative though.

Hand Passes: I don't see a need to change this rule. Don't let em close their glove on the puck, but it's ok to hand pass in the defensive zone. I don't think it'd be a positive for the game to allow it in the offensive zone. If they want to get rid of it altogether, I'd be ok with that.

Changes to the Icing Rule: I'd be fine with them adopting the "no line changes if you ice the puck" rule that the NHL put into place. But under no circumstance should they eliminate the ability of the short handed team to ice the puck, even if they did allow line changes after that. It would make killing a penalty way too difficult. Especially with the no-touch icing in place.

Moving Faceoffs to Center Ice After an Offsides: What dude? I see no logic to doing that. Implement the NHL's new system of requiring faceoffs to be on one of the nine faceoff dots, but there's no reason that you need to go to center after an offside call.

Other stuff:

Amir Johnson is signed, sealed, and delivered for three years. Now umm...Flip? Do us all a favor and play the guy. Maxiell too.

But Did We Sign Molly? The Red Wings have signed Mark Hartigan to a two-way contract. Michigan fans will remember him from his days at St. Cloud State. I will say this about his college career. Since I started consistently watching college hockey seven years ago, there has been no player that put the fear of God in me as much as Mark Hartigan. In that Regional game at Yost, I was convinced that he was going to score every time the puck was on his stick. He's got an absolute bomb for a shot. I'm still kind of surprised that we made it out of that game.

So About That Top-Six Forward: According to Jimmy Devellano (and if you've ever heard him talk, you understand why I italicized the last syllable of his name), the Red Wings have "zero" interest in signing Alexei Yashin. He says that they still want a top-six forward, but there's "nobody" out there, so they're going to carry the money into the season.

This means one of a few things:

They're dumb.

They know that the Central is going to be a cakewalk this year, so they're going to try and make a splash at the deadline and use the money then.

Or what I think is the most likely scenario: They have their eyes on Peter Forsberg. There's obviously interest on Detroit's part. If November or December rolls around and Forsberg is healthy, they would then use this money on him. And as much as it would pain me to see Forsberg in a Wings jersey (I would throw up in my mouth seeing it), it would be great for a couple of reasons: 1) It would drive the Avs fans crazy--provided there are any left after they missed the playoffs. 2) He could really help us if he was in the lineup.

Forsberg seems the most logical, because there's no way that they're going to burn $6 or 7 million at the trade deadline. That'd be enough to trade for two, if not three, marquee players. It's just not going to happen. And if they're looking to acquire that top-six forward at the deadline, they better be prepared to pay a premium, unless they've got a line on someone that could be had cheap, like Bertuzzi, due to one reason or another. Look at what even guys like Bill Guerin fetched last year. I just don't see Holland acquiring multiple players at that price.

Personally, I think it's stupid to not have any interest in Yashin. He had 50 points in 58 games last season. Yes, he has a reputation as a lazy player, but he matched Robert Lang's stats despite playing 20-25 less games. Additionally, he was a +6 on the year, which wasn't bad at all if you look at the Islanders team as a whole. I believe that playing for a team with a shot to win the Cup for the first time in a long time could be just what the doctor ordered for him. He'd also be in a veteran-laden locker room. They could get him to buy into the team game. Think about the guys that he's played with in his career. You think that playing with Datsyuk wouldn't invigorate him? I do. And if the internet report that it might only take $2 million--or slightly above--to sign him is accurate, they are 100% loony to not go for it.

And signing him would still likely leave enough room to take a run at someone at the deadline. If they're going to sign Forsberg, this makes sense. If not, then I think it's extremely dumb to bank that much cap room.


Anonymous said...

Interesting thought on Hartigan. He was very good in college, no doubt, but I can't say I was afraid of him. He wasn't an overly creative offensive player. How he missed the open net on the breakaway against Blackburn still confuses me though.

2 players that did scare the crap out of me:

Thomas Vanek. You could see the talent oozing from him. Simply must be kept in check at all times because if you lose track of him for a nanosecond it's lights out. Poor Andy Burnes.

Ryan Miller. Every time we faced him I was praying we wouldn't be another shutout victim. One of the best college goaltending perfomances I ever saw was a 1-0 MSU win at Yost in November 2000 where UM threw *everything* at Miller and he just would. not. break. That's why the 2002 CCHA championship game is one of my favorite tapes, we finally slew the beast.

Hmm, I guess Buffalo isn't one of our favorite cities, huh?

Packer487 said...

Ahhhh that 1-0 shutout. I remember that one like it was yesterday. We outshot them 31-13, and it was the same night as the Michigan/Northwestern 54-51 game. We watched that in the dorm for as long as we could and then brought my uncle's Watchman down to Yost to watch the rest of the football game.

When we got the ball back, our section exploded and everyone looked at us like we were nuts because the puck was like down in the corner. Then A-Train fumbled and the night went quickly downhill.

The 2002 CCHA Championship was hilarious because it was on tape delay....I think that'll be a "story time" post. Haven't done one of those in awhile.

My favorite non-Regional game was that 5-4 overtime win against MSU though. They came in as #1 and on like a 27 game unbeaten streak. That was an unbelievable hockey game. That's another one I wish I had a tape of. I missed the replay when Fox Sports showed it a couple years ago....

And no, I don't hold any nice feelings for the city of Buffalo. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, that's a big part of the reason why I hate the Sabres.