Thursday, December 09, 2004

Reply to the "Shanahan Summit"

On Tuesday and Wednesday; Brendan Shanahan took people from all aspects of hockey to have "summit" on what needs to be changed in order for the game of hockey to be better.

Those present included Toronto Maple Leafs players Mats Sundin and Alexander Mogilny, as well as Curtis Joseph of the Red Wings, Jim McKenzie of the Nashville Predators, Al MacInnis of the St. Louis Blues, James Patrick of the Buffalo Sabres, Sean Burke of the Philadelphia Flyers, former NHLer Andy Brickley, head coaches Marc Crawford of the Vancouver Canucks, Dave Tippett of the Dallas Stars and John Tortorella of the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, hockey television analysts Glenn Healy and John Davidson, TV executives John Shannon of LeafsTV and Tom McNeeley of ESPN, former GM and league executive Brian Burke and former referee Terry Gregson, who retired this past summer.

What they come up with were 10 proposals for rule changes that they will present to the NHL and NHLPA. Their rules would come up with are bolded and numbered with my responce being underneath-- more than likely bulleted. So let's do this-- shall we??

1. Create a competition committee
  • This is a good jumping off point-- that's for sure. But in what capacity would they be involved?? How would they jump in?? How severe would the problems have to be for them to get in on the action?? It's a good idea in theory, but unless it's a role that would be consistant and not just have a pretty title-- then it wouldn't be effective.
2. Change the obstruction rules

  • This is a must, but haven't we gone through this before?? The main problem with the obstruction is that if it's called; people complain. If it's not called; people complain. It's a stupid rule, but it has to be implimented. The referees have to not buckle under public appeal and call the game as they see it. They shouldn't be influenced by outsiders and just call a game the way they'd see it.
3. Five minute overtime, followed by a shootout
  • Now this is a hot button issue. People who have seen it in the AHL have hated it, people int he ECHL have been able to live with it. I think it's a gimmick that the NHL needs right now to get the NHL better appeal and more to the casual fan on TV. Remember FoxTrax?? That was a gimmick that was able to get the NHL more TV exposure. The shootout gives a definite winner and loser of a game. And why not?? People hate ties. People don't like kissing their sister. The game is evolving and the style of game should evolve. Sticks are hardly made out of wood, it's all composite. Goalie mask has the ability to stop bullets-- you should have a true winner and loser; whatever the cost.
4. Minor penalties in regular season overtime are one-minute instead of two
  • Ok-- this is crap in my eyes. Why not just put another player out there in OT for a penalty instead of taking one off. Have a 5-on-4 powerplay and then go for it. This is just asinine to me.
5. Streamline goaltending equipment
  • I like this rule and here's why: In the past 10 years, we have seen the goalies go from 98 pound weakings to Godzilla like creatures in net-- and I'm not talking about the amazing growth spurt. You can see the goalies having huge shoulder pads and some thing bigger leg pads. There's protection of the goalie's body and then there's absuptity.
6. AHL experimental rules should be adopted
  • I'm not sure if I like the idea of the goalie box and the wider lines, but the automatic icing and the tag-up offsides is something that could be able to work. I don't know why the tag-up offsides was ever abolished in the first place.
7. Automatic Icing
  • Which I thought was covered above, but whatever. This will save ankles and leg when going back for the puck. Just ask Marco Sturm and Jarome Iginla if they like that rule.
8. Puck shot into stands in defensive zone is a two-minute penalty
  • This is an adoption of the goalie rule for shooting the puck out of the ice surface getting a delay-of-game penalty. This could be a good rule if it's just straight out of the ice surface and if they're in their own zone and shoot it out into the neutral zone.
9. Improved access for broadcast rights holders
  • If the hockey TV providers want to really bring the league into the homes of the hockey fans, then this is the way to go. The access has been very limited to ESPN, ABC, CBC, TSN, and the like. If the NHL were to improve this-- the ability to have quality broadcast night after night would be splended.
10. Improve communication and partnership at all levels of the game
  • That's what it's all about. If you can communicated and have a good relationship with your sponsors is a good way to get nice exposure from them, for them, and a good way to get them back when a contract is up is something the NHL should be salivating over. Money from sponsors would be rolling in and helping the revenue flow.
In the long run, this was a good exchange of ideas, but to have this happen, the NHL and NHLPA would have to put egos aside and get a deal done for the CBA and be able to play. In the long run, the NHL needs to heed these rules and listen so when the games finally start back up; the game will be a lot fan and viewer friendlier.

This has been ScottyWazz. Take care of yourself and someone else. PEACE!!

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