22 Jul 2005

Big NHL News

Posted by dumpendebat

I am passing on to you the text, including the embedded hyperlinks, of an email I received today from the National Hockey League:

NHL Newsletter

Hockey is back and it’s been a busy day in the NHL with lots
of breaking news. We thought you’d want a quick

CBA Ratified
The NHL Board of Governors ratified the new Collective
Bargaining Agreement
today! Go to NHL.com to read more
about the highlights of the new CBA as well as the CBA


The Rules have Changed
In addition to ratifying the CBA, the Board of Governors
approved comprehensive rule changes for the 2005 — 2006
season. In addition, there will be no more ties, as
tied games will be decided by shootouts.


What Team has the First Pick in the Draft?
The NHL held the draft lottery today to determine what
team will select first in the 2005 NHL Draft on July 30.
Go to NHL.com to read breaking news on the 2005 NHL
Draft order and to see where your favorite team will be


What else is News?
Everything from a new look to the NHL Shield to the NHL’s
Olympic participation next February! Please continue
visiting NHL.com for updates and news about the NHL’s
exciting plans to start the season!


Overall, this is good news for all hockey fans. However, I am a bit concerned about the rule changes. I’m a flaming left-winger in most respects, but when it comes to NHL hockey, I am an arch-conservative. I haven’t had a good chance to sit down and digest this stuff, nor have I pondered the ramifications (plenty of time for that on the airplane tomorrow), but what’s a weblog for if not to post some half-thought-out kneejerk reactions? Here are some immediate thoughts:

  • I disapprove whole-heartedly of the no-more-ties rule, for starters. Save the shootouts for the post-season. There is nothing wrong with a tied game, even a nil-nil tie. Fuck a shootout.
  • There’s a new Goaltender Trap Zone, which will sharply curtail the goaltender’s ability to play the puck behind the goal line. Why? Why don’t we just take away his stick, too? I can live with the 11% reduction in the size of the goaltender’s equipment, I guess, but this new Trap Zone will prove to be more of a Crap Zone.
  • I have no problem with the new rink-size dimensions.
  • I can also live with the new two-line pass rule (it will now be OK to pass the puck from behind your own blue line to the other team’s blue line; the center line won’t count for this).

I could wish for fewer rule changes, but any hockey is better than none at all.

Update: I ought to explain one thing. I don’t agree with the conventional wisdom that more goal-scoring is going to make professional hockey more “exciting” and “fun” and thus make it a more desirable consumer product. No, I will keep insisting that more goal-scoring is going to cheapen the product. When goals are few and far-between, they’re much more exciting than when they happen every five minutes. A 3-2 win is better than a 7-5 win, and what I’m afraid we’ll end up with is a video-game-like version of hockey where an average game has fifteen or twenty goals scored. It’s not all about the goals, it’s all about the speed, power, and finesse.

You simply don’t need to hear the air-horn and Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll (Part 2)” every five minutes. It’s more exciting when it’s more rare and improbable an event.

(This probably says something about me, psychologically, but I don’t feel like thinking about it.)

Another update: I just noticed that the GIF images I linked to are tiny. They’re apparently resized on the fly by some clever JavaScript or something. You’ll have to go to the rule-changes page if you want to see them in their full-sized glory.

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