By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The NHL’s competition committee is working hard to make sure some important rule changes go down, if only to preserve the sanctity of the game and improve the NHL’s entertainment value. A joint committee of NHL and NHLPA reps, which included Bruins forward David Backes, met on Sunday to come up with rule change recommendations that a large segment of fans desperately wants to see after two years of frustration.
Oh, you thought it was going to involve offside review rules? Think again.
The competition committee released a joint statement on Monday from co-chairs Matheiu Schneider of the NHLPA and Colin Campbell of the NHL, recommending not one but two rule changes for next season. Neither of them involve offside challenges and reviews, which have peeled goals off the board for a league already starving for scoring and often taken away goals because of offsides that had little to no impact on the score.
Don’t get your hopes up about the committee making any more recommendations, either. The statement reads that the committee was “satisfied that no additional changes would be necessary or appropriate at this time.” The committee was previously reported to be discussing possible changes to the rules regarding offside reviews.
As for the recommendations the committee did make, one was to disallow coaches from calling timeouts after icing the puck. That seems reasonable; icing the puck shouldn’t have any potential rewards attached to it. But the added availability of timeouts in other areas could actually end up indirectly causing an increase in offside challenges.
The other recommendation is to modify faceoff rules so that when a team on the power play touches the puck with a high-stick in the offensive zone, the ensuing faceoff would be moved to the neutral zone. This would be consistent with the rules for when both teams are at full strength.
Good thing the league is making changes to the real hot-button issues that fans have been demanding. Teams can still risk a timeout to nullify a goal over a skater’s toe maybe being a millimeter offside, but they absolutely cannot use it to take a breather after an icing. Can’t have it.
Get ready for another season of soul-sucking reviews and channel-turning delays.
Matt Dolloff is a writer/producer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.