My opinion on proposed NCAA hockey rules changes
The NCAA ice hockey rules committee has proposed some rules changes for the 2010-11 season, it was announced today.
I am going to list each proposal, and follow that with my opinion.
Enhancement of the contact to the head rule. A minimum of a five-minute major and game misconduct or game disqualification will be called.
Opinion:Since the contact to the head penalty came into existence in 2003, I have always believed it should be more than just a two-minute minor. I thought a double minor was the best way to go. I like the fact that the NCAA wants to do away with the head shots, and the five-minute major and game misconduct or game DQ will make players think twice when going after an opponent's head.
Verdict I strongly approve.
Enforce icing calls when a team is short-handed.
Opinion: I don't know about this one. I can understand the committee's thinking that you don't want to give the penalized team an advantage by clearing the puck out of the zone without icing being called.
However, teams aren't allowed to change when they ice the puck in even-strength situations. Is there a need to penalize them even more and have the players more tired when they are short-handed? Instead, maybe the power play should last the entire two minutes, which would allow the team to score as many power-play goals as it wants. That would be more punishing.
Modification of the no-touch icing rule to wave off icing if an official determines that an attacking player would reach the puck before a defending player.
Opinion: If the offensive player has a step on the defenseman for that puck, I say reward him.
Alter the delayed penalty rule to provide the non-offending team a power play, even if a goal is scored during the delay.
Opinion I'm not sure about this one. I can see not penalizing a team for scoring while on the delayed call. But do you want to want to penalize the offending team even further?
Verdict: Have to think more about this.
Have the goalies change ends in overtime.
Opinion: There is something missing with this proposal. Is the committee talking just the playoffs, or the regular season as well?
I am all for changing ends in overtime in the postseason. It's supposed to be a challenge to win in overtime in the playoffs. You shouldn't have an easy time making line changes. This is the way the NHL does it in the Stanley Cup playoffs. If you change ends, it could lessen the chances of playoff games going more than two OTs. As someone who has covered three of the four longest games in men's college hockey history, I consider myself an expert.
But in the regular season, since you are only playing a five-minute OT, as opposed to a 20-minute OT period in the postseason, there is no need to change ends. They don't do it in the NHL, so there is no need to do it in college hockey.
Verdict: Yes for the playoffs; no for the regular season.
The committee addressed a proposal to allow optional half-shields instead of full facemasks for men's hockey only. However, the committee determined that more scientific data was needed before a proposal could be made.
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