Wednesday, October 19, 2005

New rules open the flood gates for NHL

And let the scoring begin

The NHL has tried almost everything to up its status as the #4 sport in the United States, nothing has really worked. And this isn't like when baseball went on strike in 1994, because baseball had a solid fan base before they went on strike, the NHL has been struggling for years before the debacle that was last year's labor lockout. The big idea that NHL brass thought would change the game for the better this year are the rule changes to make the game faster and more higher scoring.

what new rules?
  • Red Line is removed and the two-line pass is legal
  • Goaltender leg pads, blockers, catching gloves and jerseys are all cut down in size
  • Goaltenders cannot handle the puck behind the goal line, except in a restricted area
  • Tie games are decided by a shootout
While all these rules favor higher scoring, the one that all fans were clamoring for was the shootout. While ties are not allowed in international play, the NHL has always had ties. The idea that there will be a definitive winner every game, will help the league.

But as baseball learned in '95, the casual fan won't come back to the league simple because they're on the ice again. Hockey needs something, they need a Sosa vs. McGwire, a Peyton Manning 49 touchdown season, a Chicago Bulls three-peat. As of right now, all of this is left on the shoulders of #1 draft pick...dubed "The Next One"...Sidney Crosby.

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