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09-14-2011, 05:31 PM
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There was an adjustment period a few years ago when Hockey Canada mandated and emphasized strict calling of all hooks, holds, interference, and tripping fouls (the obstruction penalties) to align minor hockey with the rest of the world. Teams would be playing 3-on-3 for lengthy periods, and there were tons of penalty shots.

But teams seemed to adjust after 3 months. The game was fundamentally changed in Canada, from an obstruction and dumping game to a skating, passing, and positioning game. It seems to have worked out, with a lot more emphasis on and reward for skill and elusiveness.

With this revised head contact rule (the head contact penalty was introduced a couple of years ago, with a new signal) and the new emphasis on enforcement, since it's only 2 mins for cup checking but 4 mins for face-washing, scrums could get a lot dirtier. The elbow-to-the-head penalty becomes a double minor for intentional head contact. Again, the game will be fundamentally changed. For the better again? Safer? We'll have to wait and see.

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