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Reward the power play

Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 4:09 PM

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer / The Research Project

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The Research Project
Reward the power play
Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini wanted to scream out, "Blow the whistle," until he realized in Session 2 here at RDO Camp a team that commits a penalty had to do more than simply gain possession of the puck in order for the whistle to blow and the ensuing power play to start.

"You recognize the onus is on the player to get the puck out before they can blow the whistle," Tambellini told NHL.com. "The play is not over. You have to work to earn the right to get the whistle. I didn't mind that."

Tambellini just described the delayed penalty rule that was tested in Session 2 and appeared to be of keen interest to many in attendance. The team that committed the penalty had to get the puck out of the zone before the referee could blow his whistle to stop play and impose the penalty on the offending player.

The rationale is that the extra time it takes for the offending team to clear their zone would essentially create a longer power play for the opponent once the opposing coach pulled his goalie.

It's hard enough to gain possession when you're down a man; now imagine how difficult it would be to clear the zone with possession.

"It also creates fatigue," Tambellini said. "Say you're playing Detroit and they've been in the zone for a minute and a half, then you take a penalty and now you have to get it out of the zone. You'll have a much greater chance for a scoring opportunity."

Tambellini said he's all for enhancing scoring opportunities through power plays, and making the offending team clear the zone with possession is one way to do it.

"I think it's great that we continue to strive to be able to show the incredible ability of these players," he said. "They're so well-disciplined and so well-coached, so fit that the dropoff level of energy to defend isn't too much. So, you need to keep finding ways to reward the players that have the skill and can make a great play. You have to reward the team that is working hard to keep the puck in the zone. Don't just let teams take lazy penalties against teams and players that maybe are more skilled, hard-working and fit.

"It takes a lot of work in the game to generate a Grade A opportunity. You want to reward the effort and the skill to do that."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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