I'm not on the NHL competition committee (yet), but if I were, one area that I would want to revisit is the puck over the glass rule. It doesn't seem like the punishment fits the crime when a defenseman inadvertently clears the puck over the glass and has to sit for 2 minutes. Is that really equal to an elbow to the face or hauling down a player from behind? The idea of keeping the offending team on the ice after an icing call was a good start at a "minor" punishment. Seems like there needs to be a middle ground between that and the 2 minute minor. Particularly in situations like the puck over the glass. So here's my proposal…
The Unopposed faceoff.
The idea is simple, the offending team doesn't get to place a player in the faceoff circle. It's like a free kick in soccer, but you still have the puck being dropped. The player on the other team would not be allowed to move the puck forward off the faceoff. They would have to pull it back, but would have a free faceoff win. (Otherwise, it would turn into a free slapshot). This would still be a major deterrent to stop defensemen from clearing the puck. A free, clean faceoff win in the offensive zone is a major advantage.
This could potentially be applied in other areas, beyond the puck over the glass.
- Player in defensive zone freezing the puck
- Goalie playing the puck in the trapezoid (another stupid 2 minute minor rule)
- Team is late in making a line change / buying time for a tired player
Thoughts from the gallery? I think this could work.