I hate the fact that NHL makes rule changes just to make changes. I know they say the changes are recommended by the general managers and approved by the competition committee, but some of the changes are a bit off mark.
Change #1: a change to Rule 76.2 will place the first faceoff of a power play in the defending zone of the team that committed the foul. WHAT? I thought a team was supposed to earn the territory, not be handed the zone. The refs are lousy at calling accurate penalties 99% of the time and now we are going to give the favorable team an extra man AND an offensive face off. Crazy. I know the NHL wants to increase scoring, but earning the goals the old fashioned way will increase fan support. Remember the skate, skate, pass, pass, shoot? Apparently, skating is not a priority to the NHL.
Change #2: a change to Rule 85.5 states that if a puck is shot off the goal frame, goal post or crossbar, the subsequent faceoff will remain in the end zone where the puck went out of play. OK. WHATEVER.
Change #3: a change to Rule 81.1 states that "any contact between opposing players while pursuing the puck on an icing must be for the sole purpose of playing the puck and not for eliminating the opponent from playing the puck." The amended rule further states that "unnecessary or dangerous contact could result in penalties being assessed to the offending player." HALF-A$$ and you know it. This rule change came as a direct result of the Wild's own Kurtis Foster leg injury. San Jose rookie Torrey Mitchell chased down Foster on a potential icing call, made contact and Foster slammed into the boards breaking his leg, badly. It was a season ending injury, but could have easily been a career ending injury. This rule change is a false attempt to save lives. The NHL knows they need to do something to cover their butts in case it happens again, but they aren't willing to go to a no-touch icing.