Realignment (Has been done a few times now. Just means you get to see your team play some teams you might not have seen since the old days.)
Canadian TV deals (Who really cares about this eh?)
Uniforms (A few teams no one really cares about switched up their sweaters, and of course the Leafs and Red Wings have fancy Winter Classic ones)
And here's where it's gotten interesting....
Ferro: So guys, I think the three of us can agree that the visor and sweaters tucked rules won't really affect us as fans, unless your team has a Gretzky or Jagr wanna be and catches a minor for being an idiot. So let's focus on the last four above bullet points.
The Dip: This is the second time in my lifetime there has been a net change, or net area change. Both changes are meant to increase goal scoring. Thus the new net size was done for 2 reasons. While the goal mouth has not changed in area the angles of the pipes are slightly different in a way that pucks that used to hit the crossbar and not go in, may now be goals, and the net itself is shallower, this will not affect goals from the front of the net. It will however allow forwards more room behind the net with which to operate. We will see more rap around goals, fans love the rap around! The second reason for the change is safety. The goal is now smaller so the trapezoid behind the net is larger. Now both a defensemen and a forward can fit between the net and the glass shoulder to shoulder, hopefully cutting down on players being pushed into the back of the net, taking the net off the moorings and hence slowing down the game.
The smaller pads, I love it. Screw Dominik Hasek! Big pads are for wimps. It was getting to the point that net minders didn't have to have as many skills as did the pads. I am intrinsically an old school minded hockey fan. I don't like change, but decreasing the pad size is a good change.
Which is also why I am a fan of realignment. I like the new schedule being unbalanced and different. My real reason for liking realignment is I believe this is a stepping stone to dropping the dead weight in the league. I am hoping that a change thus drastic and what some think is unnecessary us just a precursor to getting rid of the crap teams that are watering down the league. If there were less teams the talent level would be greater and you wouldn't need to change rules to increase scoring. See you Florida Panthers!
Ferro: I agree, everyone wants to see more goal scoring, which net size and goalie pad size directly affect. "Gretzky's office" has increased and in turn gives forwards more space to work. I think this can also lead to an injury problem however. As a defenseman, used to be a winger but got to old and slow, I would think you could take a better run at a guy sitting back there since there’s so much room now. I think we’ll see the biggest effect of the net size change during power plays since your center can set up shop back there and just swing the puck back and forth.
Sunchips: Shallow Nets: Enable better space management around and behind the net for the goaltender. Not to mention more space for the continuance of play. Leading to less stoppage time!
Goalie Pads: Instituted for more goal scoring, creating an additional buzz amongst the fan base. As fans we all want to see more goals scored, and the "five hole" phrase will be uttered more times this year than in recent ones.
New Helmet Rule: Things should stay the way they are. There is a code of ethics amongst the enforcers in the NHL today. When two guys square off, let them be men, face to face, and duel with dignity. Helmets left on seem to lessen the bravado that is needed in the League.
Icing Rule: Teams will be more reluctant to ice the puck knowing that will increase the chance of more face offs in their own zone. Again this will tend to lessen stoppage time and increase with the flow of the game. Which will be more appealing to the naked eye.
Ferro: I think the helmet/fighting rule is ridiculous. We’ve already seen guys get around this rule by just taking off each other’s helmets before a fight. I’m pretty sure two monster guys beating the crap out of one another aren’t very concerned with taking a punch to the head otherwise they would never drop the gloves in the first place.
And don’t even get me started on the new icing rule. They basically changed icing from the goal line to the face off dots and made it a split second decision for the ref on who he “thinks” might get the puck first adding more of a chance for human error. We’re still in the early weeks of this season but I have already seen this call go bad a few times. Hopefully it’ll get better as the season goes on but we shall see.
The Dip: The new icing rule: WTF! Explain to me why this was even brought up to vote on. The only reason I can see is that they fear for the safety of 2 men speeding towards the boards. I can not remember a single injury ever occurring on an icing play. In fact with the new icing line being so far away from the boards I think you will see more offensive players diving towards the puck to make contact, which seems more dangerous to me.
Fighting without a helmet, great now you fight you must break your hand. That's awesome! Don't take your helmet off or you force your team into a penalty kill. This is ridiculous. Fighters in this game should be able to take their pants off if it makes for a better fight. Who are we protecting, Sydney Crosby? Wimps are going to get beat up with or without a helmet on. How many players were hurt last year because they hit their heads on the ice during a fight? None. Guys that shouldn't be fighting crawl into a ball on the ice helmet or not.
Well there you go hockey fans your 2013-14 NHL rules changes in a nutshell from three nuts. I for one am just happy we get a full season after last year’s shortened season, and I’m also happy to see some teams we don’t get to see your favorite team, #GOBRUINS, play very often due to realignment.
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