Bruins experiment with rules changes

“Bruins bosses Harry Sinden and Mike O’Connell a few weeks ago called up the entire Providence Bruins squad to Boston, essentially tossed the rule book in the trash can, altered the lines on the ice, and looked for new ways to open up the game. The most radical alteration was moving the blue lines closer to the nets, in theory creating smaller offensive zones. In practice, it was much different, because the flight of fancy eliminated all offsides. Once the attacking team moved the puck out of its defensive zone, it was free to fire the puck far down ice without fear of icing or offsides. “What it turned into was hockey’s version of fast-break basketball,” said O’Connell. NHL director of hockey operations Colin Campbell attended the session. “

— Boston Globe

Perhaps nothing comes of an afternoon minor league scrimmage. However, I am pleased that the NHL realizes how boring their current product is. Turning the NHL into the fast-break version of basketball would be great, especially if coupled with smaller goalie pads.

The big question is, when the NHL returns, are the players and teams willing to radically change the game to increase the entertainment value and put fans in the seats.