Since the NHL is never quite happy with its on-ice product, there will be changes when the puck drops for the 2015-16 season – we just don’t know how many.
The league’s competition committee met in New York on Thursday to discuss a variety of proposals, including a coach’s challenge, revamped overtimes and more stringent faceoff rules.
The competition committee was made up of NHLPA members Michael Cammalleri (New Jersey Devils), Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils), Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis Blues) and Daniel Winnik (Pittsburgh Penguins), and NHL representatives Ed Snider (Philadelphia Flyers), David Poile (Nashville Predators), Ken Holland (Detroit Red Wings), Don Maloney (Arizona Coyotes) and Peter Chiarelli (Edmonton Oilers), along with co-chairs Mathieu Schneider and Colin Campbell.
Here, in a joint announcement, is what’s on the table for 2015-16. Feel free to chime in with changes you would like to make in the Comments section below:
Expanded Video Review: Coach's Challenge - The Committee recommends that a Coach's Challenge be adopted for expanded video review for goals that may have resulted from (1) goaltender interference and (2) offside plays. The video review process and all decisions on goals where goaltender interference may have occurred will be the responsibility of the Referees at ice level, in consultation with the NHL’s Situation Room in Toronto; similarly, goals that may have resulted from an offside play will be reviewed and determined by the on-ice officials, in consultation with the NHL's Situation Room in Toronto. In order for a coach to make a challenge, the team must have its timeout available.
Overtime - There was considerable discussion of changing the current overtime format but no consensus was reached. The NHLPA and NHL will continue discussions in the coming weeks on potential changes with the intention for the Committee to make a decision on overtime later this month. There will be no changes to the shootout format.
Faceoffs - The Committee recommends a change to the faceoff rule, whereby, for all face-offs in the defensive zone, the player from the defensive zone team must put down his stick first. For faceoffs at center ice, the rule will remain the same, requiring that the visiting team player put his stick down first.
The new rules recommendations still require approval by the NHLPA's Executive Board and the NHL's Board of Governors, at which point the language of the rules will be formalized.
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The guess here is that the coach’s challenge and faceoff rules will be implemented next season. The coach’s challenge will certainly be an interesting tactic, especially since it would force coaches to think twice about calling a timeout following an icing.
To me, the overtime is the most compelling proposal. There is talk about going with 4-on-4 hockey for the first three or four minutes of overtime, then going to 3-on-3 for the final three or four minutes. That would mean extending the current 5-minute overtimes to seven minutes and the players will be resistant to adding more time to games, increasing the threat of injury.
What changes, and feel free to add any not included above, would you like to see implemented next season?