Bobby Smith offers brilliant solution to restore excitement to the NHL game

eye
09-29-2003, 06:16 AM
In THN our very own Bobby Smith offers the best solution to what is killing hockey entertainment that I have read in years. His proposal of implementing 6' wide bluelines and redline takes a little getting used to however, it accomplishes what so many experts have been unable to do which is to increase playing space without moving the existing boards. At first glance, the new rink is a little strange to look at but after looking at the diagram a few times I'm already getting used to it, just like I did with boards and ice advertising and use of colour on football fields etc. If you havn't seen the article or the diagram you may want to take the time to review it. In essence, it would increase the playing area in each zone by over 10% and allow for many more creative passing plays, odd man attacks and would limit the effectiveness of trapping. The emphasis would be returned to skill and not just the height of players. BRILLIANT and I hope it flies sooner than later. I understand the WHA are thinking of implementing the wider bluelines to go with their no redline rule. We might just see more OILERS style 80's hockey. Hopefully, Gretzky will jump on board and support this idea and not go against it just because our former GM was the mastermind behind it.

eye
09-29-2003, 06:18 AM
I forgot to mention how this would improve power plays vs. todays dominent penalty killing units which would force players to play inside the rules which would also increase the skill level and entertainment of the game.

PhoPhan
09-29-2003, 12:42 PM
I am not sure if I understand this...

Are they widening the attack zone, or the lines themselves?

If it is the lines themself, which is what it sounds like, what would that accomplish?

Waldo
09-29-2003, 01:19 PM
Don't understand it either - what am I missing .......?

Guest
09-29-2003, 01:28 PM
I believe Bobby Smith suggests making the offensive zones 6 feet larger, thus shrinking the neutral zone 12 feet overall.

The result would be that it's harder for teams to clear the zone, giving the offensive team more time and space to work with. Of course, the flip side of this, no pun intended, is the dump and chase, where it will also be that much easier to dump the puck in 6 feet closer. I'd like to see it tried out, but next year in the AHL would be the soonest you'd even see it tested.

I think it'd be interesting to see 4 on 4 even strength tested as well. A lot complain that the players are bigger so the ice is then smaller. Going 4 on 4 expands the ice somewhat, but I'm not sure what the overall impact on the league would be should that happen. From a CBA perspective, you'd be playing with less players and it might be a way to cut some corners, although it'd just cut out the fringe players on the team anyway (Cleary, Nazarov, Wilson, etc). You'd have to adjust for powerplays too, because a 4-2 powerplay would just be bad. I'd like to see it that you would just add a guy to the offense on a powerplay two-man advantage, making it a 5 on 3 still instead of a 4 on 2.

eye
09-29-2003, 01:57 PM
I believe Bobby Smith suggests making the offensive zones 6 feet larger, thus shrinking the neutral zone 12 feet overall.

The result would be that it's harder for teams to clear the zone, giving the offensive team more time and space to work with. Of course, the flip side of this, no pun intended, is the dump and chase, where it will also be that much easier to dump the puck in 6 feet closer. I'd like to see it tried out, but next year in the AHL would be the soonest you'd even see it tested.

I think it'd be interesting to see 4 on 4 even strength tested as well. A lot complain that the players are bigger so the ice is then smaller. Going 4 on 4 expands the ice somewhat, but I'm not sure what the overall impact on the league would be should that happen. From a CBA perspective, you'd be playing with less players and it might be a way to cut some corners, although it'd just cut out the fringe players on the team anyway (Cleary, Nazarov, Wilson, etc). You'd have to adjust for powerplays too, because a 4-2 powerplay would just be bad. I'd like to see it that you would just add a guy to the offense on a powerplay two-man advantage, making it a 5 on 3 still instead of a 4 on 2.

No, that's not it either. I really recommend you go out and find a copy of this year's THN NHL yearbook to truly understand the concept and see the diagrams. By making the bluelines and the redline 6' wide you increase the playing area of all 3 zones allowing for longer passes without being called 2 line passes and also adding 2 extra feet in each offensive zone for more offensive space, hence, more room, better power plays and less effective penalty killing. The result would require each team to improve their skill level which would increase the entertainment value of hockey.

PhoPhan
09-29-2003, 03:41 PM
No, that's not it either. I really recommend you go out and find a copy of this year's THN NHL yearbook to truly understand the concept and see the diagrams. By making the bluelines and the redline 6' wide you increase the playing area of all 3 zones allowing for longer passes without being called 2 line passes and also adding 2 extra feet in each offensive zone for more offensive space, hence, more room, better power plays and less effective penalty killing. The result would require each team to improve their skill level which would increase the entertainment value of hockey.


Ah, I see. This clears it up. There are a lot of good ways to make hockey better, but it is anyone's guess when or which will come through.

_Del_
09-29-2003, 08:38 PM
Don't understand it either - what am I missing .......?

The lines themselves are viable playing space.... you're increasing the play area of the neutral zone without technically moving the lines (ie-- on a two-line pass, offside, etc). In addition, since the puck is supposed to entirely clear the line, you've effectively increased the offensive zone also.
It is rather brilliant actually, and I'm not surprised that Smith came up with it. He was a brilliant player (and a horrible GM)...

XX
09-29-2003, 09:18 PM
The lines themselves are viable playing space.... you're increasing the play area of the neutral zone without technically moving the lines (ie-- on a two-line pass, offside, etc). In addition, since the puck is supposed to entirely clear the line, you've effectively increased the offensive zone also.
It is rather brilliant actually, and I'm not surprised that Smith came up with it. He was a brilliant player (and a horrible GM)...

The only problem I see is that it would look strange and that the people might not be ready for such a drastic change.

Id like to see it tested in the AHL though.

_Del_
09-29-2003, 10:01 PM
The only problem I see is that it would look strange and that the people might not be ready for such a drastic change.

Id like to see it tested in the AHL though.

Everyone (look, mom, hyperbole) has said that they'd like to see bigger ice surfaces ie -- international surfaces. The big thing here is that you can't simply renovate all the pro-hockey rinks in NA without a major expenditure of capital, and no owner wants to do that to their stadium.
Strange looking or not, this is a simple solution by thinking 'outside the box' amd the more I think about it, the more brilliant it appears.

hbk
09-30-2003, 04:17 AM
With 6 foot lines there is an opportunity for the NHL to sell advertising. What about the Pepsi Blue lines? That's a natural fit.

eye
09-30-2003, 06:57 AM
With 6 foot lines there is an opportunity for the NHL to sell advertising. What about the Pepsi Blue lines? That's a natural fit.

Pepsi Bluelines and Coca Cola Redline. Gotta love it. XX, I got used to looking at the lines on the diagram after only a few viewings. The bluelines are actually 2" lines dark blue placed 6 feet apart with light pale blue coloured in between so you can still see the puck. The redline should be done the same way. e.g.s of how the lines which are considered in play in all 3 zones are; an extra 2' in the offensive zone allowing for more room in the offensive zone which would alter man to man coverage which is killing hockey and an extra 6' in the neutral zone allowing for penetrating longer passes which will certainly open up the game, increase scoring chances, odd man attacks, breakaways and goal production. There is no downside in doing this and IMO the sooner the better. No drastic elimination of the redline and no dramatic changes to the fundamentals of the game. No brainer.

Guest
09-30-2003, 08:23 AM
Yeah, it does sound like the least abrasive approach to making a change, it's not breaking the rules, it's stretching them.

PhoPhan
09-30-2003, 12:30 PM
Sounds like an excellent idea to open the game, and I think most would be all for it. However, I do think by making it a little more complicated like that, it could turn away new fans.

eye
09-30-2003, 03:54 PM
Sounds like an excellent idea to open the game, and I think most would be all for it. However, I do think by making it a little more complicated like that, it could turn away new fans.

I don't see where this rule change would make it more complicated. Basically the same rules apply. In some ways it simplifies things. Off-side occurs when a player enters the white ice inside the blueline before the puck does. Once in the zone the puck remains in play until it is cleared outside the blueline to the neutral zone white ice. Two line passes only occur when a team passes from inside their blueline on the white ice to the white ice on the other side of the redline which is 5 feet longer than current rules allow. The neutral zone is extended to 62 feet instead of the current 56 feet also allowing for longer passes and less trapping. This will actually work better than no redline hockey or using olympic sized ice surfaces all without major costs to the owners.

_Del_
10-01-2003, 12:02 AM
I don't see where this rule change would make it more complicated. Basically the same rules apply. In some ways it simplifies things. Off-side occurs when a player enters the white ice inside the blueline before the puck does. Once in the zone the puck remains in play until it is cleared outside the blueline to the neutral zone white ice. Two line passes only occur when a team passes from inside their blueline on the white ice to the white ice on the other side of the redline which is 5 feet longer than current rules allow. The neutral zone is extended to 62 feet instead of the current 56 feet also allowing for longer passes and less trapping. This will actually work better than no redline hockey or using olympic sized ice surfaces all without major costs to the owners.

Exactly -- it's the same exact rules, no more or less complicated than current offsides or offsides passing.

eye
10-02-2003, 12:27 PM
http://www.darrenbarefoot.com/images/biglines.jpg

try this link to view Bobby Smith's proposed rink design. It doesn't look quite as good as the magazine but a picture is worth a 1000 words.

eye
10-02-2003, 12:30 PM
http://www.darrenbarefoot.com/images/biglines.jpg

try this link to view Bobby Smith's proposed rink design. It doesn't look quite as good as the magazine but a picture is worth a 1000 words.


Biggest difference is the blueline are painted pale blue between the 2 2" lines that are painted dark blue. Done in order to help see the puck and act like a warning track in baseball and it's easier on the eyes.