Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Rule Changes

Ok, so I'm grasping at straws, but there's been a spate of recent coverage in Hockey News (the best sports publication out there) and John Buccigross's column on espn.com about "sprucing up the game". Here's Mr. Buccigross' list (without all the commentary):
1. Bigger nets
2. No skater interference
3. Penalty deterrents (like serving the entire two, disqualification for too many penalties)
4. Adopt all AHL rule changes this season (wide blue lines, tag up offside, crease behind the net, net closer to the boards)
5. Paint helmets interesting colors and designs
6. Mandatory ref and player microphones
7. No music before faceoffs
8. Take out the red line
9. Play-in games for the playoffs

The tenth suggestion was more of a joke than anything, so I didn't include it. Numbers 5, 6, and 7 don't really have anything to do with the game itself, so I can't say I really care. People don't go to football games to watch the halftime show, unless you're planning on booing Ashlee Simpson. Fixing what happens when play isn't going on is a distant second to fixing the game on the ice. Exhibit A: the XFL. You can have clever nicknames on the back of your jersey ("He Hate Me"), Matrix-like camera tricks, and the hottest women in the world as cheerleaders, but having a second-rate sport will kill you. And in the past 5-10 years, hockey has been a second rate sport.

I'll post my suggested rule changes in the next few days.

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