A Way To Open Up The Game Of Hockey

A great amount of talk has been circulating this season on ways to create an “open” game of hockey. By this, I mean, having more scoring chances and goals scored in each game. I have been thinking, and though this idea may be a huge risk, it could create huge rewards.

The NHL is in need of a change. The most recent stereotype of NHL is that there is a lot of checking. The NHL was known for huge hits and fighting. Well, in this new era, I say, we make open ice checking a penalty. Hear me out before you even criticize. If the NHL were to eliminate open ice checking, offensive players like Thornton (boy would he love it), Kovalchuk, Naslund, etc would be able to showcase their offensive skill. Instead of worrying about a defensemen laying them out, they would be focused on their stickhandling and shooting. More offensive players would come to the middle of the ice, and try to deke/juke around the defensemen. In all honesty, eliminating checking, which I do enjoy by the way, would create many more chances to score. I believe the shots per game would increase from 30 a game, to maybe 40-45. Also, goals a game is near what, 5 a game? That would easily increase to maybe 7 or 8. By taking out hitting, you are making defensemen become better stick handlers, and they would have to use skill to defend, instead of the typical grab/pull/push that all unskilled defensemen use.

Now you question, why be radical, and take out a big part of the game, to increase scoring? The NHL isnt working right now. I’m a huge fan, and I realize that on the business side, the NHL is falling apart. The NHL needs to showcase their offensive talent, which they have a ton of, and in this new day, scoring is what excites people. When I talk with people, their favorite players are the Kovalchuks, the Lecavaliers, the Naslunds. The offensive players have taken over, so lets move checking aside, and lets bring on the offensive powerhouse the NHL has.

For the people who are all about hitting, how about a compromise? We will eliminate all open ice hits, BUT, when a player is on the boards, hitting is allowed. This keeps hitting in the game, and it also creates space for the offensive players to work. I know this is a very radical idea, and since this is my first article written for the site I’ll most likely get bashed, but I havent heard anybody write about this way of opening up the game. Please respond, let me know your opinions on my subject, and constructive criticism is welcome, not bashing.

Expect more articles from me, as I enjoy writing about the NHL, and enjoy interacting with fellow NHL’ers.


54 Responses to A Way To Open Up The Game Of Hockey

  1. CupBoundFlyers says:

    Yea it’s called a floating blue line, and you’re right it isn’t a house rule apparently they use that rule almost everywhere now in ball hockey aka(streethockey) and even roller hockey. I think it definitely opens up the game and allows for more scoring because there’s so much more time spent in the offensive zone, only problem with it is that it is very fatigueing and kills endurance but that shouldn’t ever be a problem for a professional player.

  2. 24cups says:

    doh!!! sorry for my bad english…

    …I mean taller

  3. hockey_man1468 says:

    It’ll never happen. What may happen instead is what the AHL will test at the end of the month.

    The proposal is to add 2 feet to the offensive side of either blue line and a foot to either side of the red line. This gives defensemen 2 less feet to skat before reaching their blue line, and forwards have an extra foot to take the pass, so in all, the neutral zone would be three feet wider, allowing longer head man passes.

    I think this is a great idea.

  4. Zamboni says:

    Actually, that’s exactly what he’s saying. In his very own words, likely after realizing himself how insane and lame his no checking idea is, he called the checking along the boards a “compromise” for those of us who are all about the hitting.

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