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2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp

GMs show little support for no-touch icing rule

Thursday, 08.18.2011 / 4:34 PM / 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ETOBICOKE, Ont. -- The icing debate raged for the second straight summer at the NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp and the only conclusion is there remains little to no appetite for no-touch icing in the National Hockey League.
 
"I am not for no-touch icing whatsoever," Phoenix GM Don Maloney told NHL.com. "Watching enough other leagues that have the no-touch, what I don't like is when the play stops. The puck is still moving but all the players stop and wait for it to go over the goal line. It's a speed game and you're supposed to play to the whistle. I just don't like that. It just aesthetically looks poor."
 
"The National Hockey League has an intense game that pushes speed," added Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini, "and you want to reward the team that is aggressively trying to get the puck back."
 
That said, Maloney, Tambellini and many of their fellow general managers remain intrigued by the concept of hybrid icing, which is a mixture between touch and no-touch icing and gives the linesman the discretion to call icing or wave it off.
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RDO scrutinized faceoffs, power play, overtime

Thursday, 08.18.2011 / 4:25 PM / 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp

EJ Hradek - NHL.com Analyst

ETOBICOKE, Ont -- The 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp wrapped up Thursday with another rule-bending scrimmage and an All-Star skills competition.

Here are some random thoughts about the two-day experience:

* Judging by itinerary, the League was most focused on three particular areas during the camp: improving the integrity of faceoffs, finding ways to increase power-play scoring and tweaking the current overtime format. While Brendan Shanahan and his hockey operations crew were able to take a good look at the different variations in those three parts of the game, I don't think there's anything -- outside of perhaps switching ends for the beginning of overtime (and that remains sadly unlikely for the coming season) -- that would be implemented in the near future.

The number of tweaks to faceoff protocol during the three scrimmage sessions led me to believe that hockey ops will be having a long preseason discussion with its on-ice officials about acceptable etiquette in the circle. It seems cheating off the draw has reached unacceptable levels.
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Scouts see 2012 draft as rich in top defensemen

Thursday, 08.18.2011 / 1:43 PM / 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

ETOBICOKE, Ont. -- Heading into the 2008 Entry Draft, the strength of that class was considered its top-end defensemen, a group that included Drew Doughty, Zach Bogosian, Alex Pietrangelo, Tyler Myers and John Carlson.

After two days of watching some of the best 2012 draft prospects here at the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp, the common thought among scouts seems to be this current crop of defensemen could be on par with that one.

"I think when we get closer to June, this draft is going to identify itself as the year of the defenseman," NHL Network analyst Craig Button told NHL.com. "I think there's as many as 15 or 16 defensemen that could go in the first round."

"You can start at one end of the defense group and go to the other end and they're all talented guys," added Toronto Maple Leafs Director of Player Personnel Rick Dudley.
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Bylsma using RDO camp as learning experience

Thursday, 08.18.2011 / 9:33 AM / 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ETOBICOKE, Ont. -- With a Stanley Cup ring on his finger and a Jack Adams Award on his resume, you'd figure that of all people, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma wouldn't be the one that in August is bothering with 17-year-old prospects and rule changes that may never see the light of day.
 
But that's just the thing with Bylsma -- coaching kids and testing out new ideas is not a bother to him even now, when his free time is dwindling as NHL training camp nears.
 
He eagerly helped out the coaches at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. last week and is just as happy to be here this week coaching prospects and challenging his mind at the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp.
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Experiments look to restore power to PP units

Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 7:48 PM / 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ETOBICOKE, Ont. -- Power plays across the NHL have been struggling for years and the trend doesn't appear to be coming to an end any time soon. With that as a backdrop, this week's Research, Development and Orientation Camp includes the testing of three rule changes aimed specifically at giving the advantage back to the power play.

Two of the potential rule changes were put on display Wednesday and a third will be used in Thursday morning's session here at the Mastercard Centre for Excellence.

While it's possible these potential changes could get left on the cutting room floor, the concept of adding more offense to the power play had the camp buzzing on Wednesday.
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Verification line, shallow nets ideas that make sense

Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 6:47 PM / 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp

EJ Hradek - NHL.com Analyst

ETOBICOKE, Ont. -- What did I like from the first day of the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp? I like the ideas that make sense. And I have to say, there were a lot of ideas that made different degrees of sense during the first two sessions.

Let's start with the "verification line." That's a very dramatic phrase, huh? The verification line! For that reason alone, I like it.

By definition, the "verification line" is a line drawn parallel to the goal line, set back slightly more than three inches from the goal line. The reason it makes so much sense to me is it allows the League's video review team another way to judge whether the puck is completely across the goal line. How many times were we left scratching our heads about that in the past?

The answer to that question: too many.
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A variety of tie-breaking formats examined at RDO

Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 4:55 PM / 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

ETOBICOKE, Ont. -- Different formats for overtime and the shootout were among the issues examined during the first day of the NHL Research and Development Camp on Tuesday.

"I liked the 3-on-3. I enjoy the way overtime currently is … but I think 3-on-3 is certainly an interesting alternative if we ever need to go there one day." -- NHL Senior VP of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan

When regulation ended, there was a four-minute session of 4-on-4 hockey, followed by three minutes of 3-on-3 play.

It was met with mixed reviews from those in attendance. 

"I liked the 3-on-3," said NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan, who oversees the camp. "I enjoy the way overtime currently is … but I think 3-on-3 is certainly an interesting alternative if we ever need to go there one day."

St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong told NHL.com he saw 3-on-3 play as an interesting concept -- one that he even could envision replacing the current 4-on-4 play.
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Bylsma says Crosby's status not a concern -- yet

Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 3:04 PM / 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ETOBICOKE, Ont. -- Penguins coach Dan Bylsma will not ask Sidney Crosby how he's feeling or how he's progressing until he sees him in Pittsburgh when it's time for training camp.

Crosby continues to work out in and around the Halifax, N.S. area, but he has not been cleared for contact and the Penguins aren't sure if he'll be ready to participate with the club when training camp opens next month.

"I'm not the coach that will say I haven't thought of (what it would be like if Crosby wasn't ready for training camp), but I think our team understands and knows how we're going to play when everyone is not healthy. Part of our success last year was just that."
-- Dan Bylsma


"Especially in the summertime, I try not to get involved in this type of, 'How are you feeling' conversation," Bylsma told NHL.com from the NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp, where he's serving as a coach. "There are things I would normally talk about with Sid and those are the captain's stuff like scheduling with the team. If I was to talk to him now, I wouldn't say, 'How do you feel today?' I would say, 'Where are you now?' I would ask, 'When are you coming to Pittsburgh?' I would ask, 'How many fish did you catch up in Nova Scotia?' "

If Bylsma comes off as easygoing in regards to Crosby and his lingering post-concussion symptoms, it's because he won't allow himself to worry about what training camp will be like if No. 87 is unable to participate.
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Prospects embracing RDO camp opportunity

Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 2:27 PM / 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

ETOBICOKE, Ont. -- From his spot at the end of the bench, goaltender Malcolm Subban had the best view of all facets of Tuesday's first session of the NHL Research and Development Camp on Tuesday.

One the one hand, he was able to watch all the action on the ice, including a few new rules. But when he looked across the rink, he saw the stands here at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence packed with NHL scouts, general managers and coaches.

The heavy hitters of the NHL are on hand to see what potential rules changes look like in action, but they're also able to get a first look at some of the best players available for the 2012 Entry Draft.

"You know they're here to do the job they do every year, so it's no different for them," said Subban, who plays with the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League. "For us it's different because this is our draft year. This is only our first sighting, so we have to just play our game."
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Bylsma, Tippett put potential rule changes to test

Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 2:01 PM / 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ETOBICOKE, Ont. -- Brendan Shanahan was eager to see how coaches Dan Bylsma and Dave Tippett would try to manipulate some of the potential rule changes and how the 36 top prospects would handle being in the spotlight in front of a grandstand full of general managers and scouts on Wednesday morning at the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp.

He liked what he saw.

Bylsma and Tippett did try to use some of the potential rule changes to their advantage and the prospects, all draft eligible in 2012, hit the ice skating hard at 10 a.m. ET, expending all that nervous energy they had to have over two hours.
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Quote of the Day

I think Loui Eriksson is a player that can be even better than he was last year. I think we started seeing that at the end of the year, and he could be a replacement for Jarome as a possibility.

— Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien on forward Loui Eriksson's potential