Just prior to Session 2 here at RDO Camp, we caught up to Penguins GM Ray Shero to discuss some of his thoughts on the rule changes that were in place during Session 1.
Shero is particularly pleased that three faceoff variations are being tested here because, "I think we have to come up with something better than what we're doing on faceoffs now," he told NHL.com. "I think it's really confusing. Guys get kicked out now and I don't know why."
In Session 1, a player that committed a violation in the faceoff circle was required to move back one foot and keep his skates behind a penalty line, thereby losing his leverage and strength on the faceoff as the linesman dropped the puck.
The faceoff variation being tested in Session 2 right now involves the linesman putting the puck on the dot and blowing his whistle to let both centerman know they have to come set. The linesman is then picking up the puck and dropping it for a normal draw, but any movement between the whistle and the puck being dropped is a violation.
Finally, the variation that will be tested Thursday morning prohibits involves encroachment. The player guilty of encroaching on the faceoff will be prohibited from being a replacement for the centerman who had to get booted out of the circle as a result of the encroachment.
"I like these faceoff ideas," Shero said. "Just looking at the faceoff is a good thing."
Shero also told NHL.com that he's a fan of having the same linesman dropping the puck for every faceoff except for the start of periods and after goals. That was a change tested in Session 1.
"I think there is the continuity of getting to know them," Shero said. "The center icemen want to learn the tendencies of the linesmen and this is just another way where there is more consistency to it. Maybe then they won't get thrown out as much. I think the centers would like some uniformity to it."
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