'Sometimes you have to move backward to get a step forward'
- Amar Gopal Bose
Here are four rules that previously existed in the National Hockey League that perhaps merit at least a debate as to their usefulness in today's game.
Goaltenders forbidden to hold puck. Pucks caught had to be cleared immediately. Infringement of rule, a faceoff taken 10 feet out from goal with no player except goalie standing between faceoff spot and goal-line.
*WHY? Too often present day goalies stop play for no reason other than they know they won't be penalized and the stoppage will better allow them to align defensively. It's hooy! Move the puck you entitled, bubble-wrapped babies.
Number of players permitted to stand in defensive zone restricted to three including goalie
*WHY? Blocking shots has risen from 'gutsy desperation' to 'expected skill', and artful offense is almost non-existant. It's mostly ping-pong-pew, hot potato, accidental puck movement and goal scoring. Fewer bodies = exotic playmaking, maybe? And besides, shotblocking isn't a skill - unless you're wearing a mask.
Number of players in uniform set at 16 plus two goalies
*WHY? Lets end the forced necessity of the so called 'energy line'. (All 3-8 minutes per game of them) I'm pretty sure hockey would persevere with 3 lines and an extra forward. Less roster players means more time for star players.
Between period intermissions fixed at 15 minutes.
*WHY? Again, we are the only sport that tells fans to go do or watch something else TWICE per game. TWICE! To be honest, fifteen minutes is actually too long for my taste, it should be 12. Just clean the ice with the two Zambonis and have all the inane on-ice sponsored contests/entertainment conducted off the surface.
Game frickin On!