There is a strong possibility of many new changes being implemented next season in the NHL. During a meeting on Wednesday, the National Hockey League general managers voted in favor of the recommendations put forth by the NHL Competition Committee.
The next stop for these proposals will be a vote by the NHL Board of Governors, which is set to take place when they meet on June 27th.
The most hot button of the issues has been the proposal of mandatory use of visors for all players entering the NHL beginning in the 2013-14 season.
If the Board of Governors votes in favor of this proposal, it would require that all players who have fewer than 26 games in the National Hockey League will be required to wear a visor beginning in the 2013-14 season. Any player having 26 or more games under their belts will be “grandfathered in” and be able to decide for themselves if they want to wear a visor or not.
The other recommendations voted favorably upon were:
- The implementation of the new “hybrid icing”.
- Beginning in the 2013-14 season, the NHL would decrease the depth of the nets by four inches. Nets will remain six feet wide by four feet tall; however, they will be 40 inches in depth instead of 44.
- All double minor penalties for high sticking will be subject to the video review.
- The NHL will eliminate the attainable pass. This allowed the linesman to, at their discretion, wave off icing infractions on attempted passes that they deemed to be attainable. Under the new standard, there must be contact with a stick.
While arguments could surely be made on either side of each of these issues, I tend to side with the GMs in favor of most of these implementations. At least two of the recommendations have a direct effect on player safety, especially the hot button visor issue.
While we will have to wait until the Board of Governors meeting to know if these changes will actually be implemented into regulation next season, I assume that at least 4 of these five issues will make it into the rule book next season.
What do you think of the proposals heading to the NHL Board of Governors? Do you feel that they will positively impact player safety, or do you feel that these changes will prove to be unnecessary? Sound of in the comments below and let us know.