It was reported on Friday that the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee is proposing some new rules for the next couple of seasons. While the proposal still must be approved, one possible rule has many hockey followers up in arms.
That rule, which one writer has called always-on icing, would prevent players killing penalties from icing the puck. Already, it seems people are against this rule, and count me as one of them.
Killing penalties is hard enough as it is for teams and to take away the icing chance seems like almost too much of an advantage for power plays, especially since you can't make line changes after an icing (a rule that I like, by the way).
Rules chairman and Alaska AD Forrest Karr did have an interesting comment to USCHO, saying: "The question people always ask is, why is it that you commit some type of infraction and you are actually rewarded and allowed to do something that you aren’t allowed to do normally?" He raises an interesting point, but I'm not sure how much that question is really asked. I never thought anything was wrong with.
The PK icing rule isn't just a tweak; it's toying with a rule that really hasn't been a problem.
Other rule proposals include:
• Making contact-to-the-head penalties five-minute majors. Looks like a game misconduct or DQ could be added as well. This could be interesting.
• Another icing tweak that would go to a pro-style touch-up system. Instead of an actual touch, however, officials will determine who would get to the puck first by using the faceoff dots as a reference point. The USHL uses this, and I'm told it's successful and kind of fun, with races to the dots in icing situations.
• Still with the icing ... looks like the "obtainable pass" rule that would wave off icing if officials decided that a pass was actually being made is no more. This is a good thing. I never quite understood what was "obtainable" and I don't think any WCHA officials ever did either.
• Allowing teams to go on power plays even if they score goals during delayed penalties.
• Having teams change ends for overtime. This might make sense for playoffs when there is a full intermission, but it's silly for a 5-minute, regular-season OT -- especially in horseshoe rinks like Mankato's where you want the home team shooting in the end where the students are sitting.
What do you think of the proposed changes?