Yup, that neutral zone sure would become so packed that players certainly would lose speed. How about they just get rid of the body armor elbow and shoulder pads first? Or would the equipment manufacturers not like that?
Having read the linked article in the OP, I have to seriously question what games Mike Keenan was watching if he really thought The Hawks played a long pass to the blue line and tip it in? I remember them playing much more short pass and puck control type of hockey in offense.
How fast were Voracek and Kronwall moving? Crosby and Steckel?
Crosby is an example of how lower speed collisions can be dangerous, but virtually no set of rules (save a penalty on all forms of head contact accidental or not) is going to minimize/eliminate that
Voracek was completely unprepared for contact, which is what caused the issues.
A theory is that with more contact happening all the time, players will have increased incentive to be aware of what's going on and not skate with their head down.
If Voracek was used to being hit in that area of the ice he would have more incentive to be prepared for Kronwall to do what he did.
Players are so used to simply putting their head down and breaking out of the zone with as much speed as possible (since they don't need to really care what happens in the neutral zone short of the opposing blue line) that they can get careless in seeing of someone is about to freight train then
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Bringing back the red line has long been an option endorsed by Senators GM Bryan Murray, who thinks little has been gained by having defencemen fire the puck up the ice and have it tipped in by a teammate at the far blue line (then have the other team do exactly the same thing), but it's been a non-starter for many of his colleagues.
Now Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, viewed as one of the bright young minds in the game, has added his voice to the minority looking to bring back the red line.
"I don't see it as wanting to slow the game. You have to look at what the game is now. We changed the rules to make it a more skilled game. It's not a more skilled game," Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times. "It's shoot the puck down the ice and go chase it. It's about getting the puck in the other team's end and getting there as soon as possible."
This might save defensemen some grief on dump-ins, but is otherwise really really bad for the sport. Back when the redline was in, shotblocking wasn't what it is now. Expect the lowest-scoring season since the forward pass was instituted in the next season. I know damn well I'm taking goalies with my first three picks in fantasy.
I've reviewed that data in depth and I've also run a decent chunk of my own data. Sadly most of that data no longer exists as I lost the hard drive the excel sheets were on, but I certainly remember the conclusions.
I'm not saying I guarantee it to be right and you can't refute it. I'm saying that based on all the data I've reviewed, the impact of goalie equipment is significantly smaller than most would lead you to believe. I'm also not saying that I'm opposed to shrinking it a little so that its primary purpose is protection of the goalie, not the net. However if you're thinking that shrinking goalie equipment will suddenly return the NHL to 6.5-7 goals a game (still 1ish goals/game below the 80s), you're sadly mistaken.
If you have data to refute this, I'm welcome to hear it. But the simply correlative look at pad size vs. save percentage isn't even close to being meaningful.
bringing back two line offsides would be a stupid idea. that has very little to do with concussions. like someone said its just another line for defensman to know they can step up and drill players at. might make it worse in fact.
on the other hand allowing players to wrap up (hug the puck carrier) when they have their back to them and pin them against the boards. (stipulation that they must release the hug once the two players have hit the boards) is a smart move because it should cut down on hit from behinds and other dangerous hits that occur during races for pucks along the boards.
Give this man a star. Boarding penalties going up is a direct result of the rule changes because defensemen have no options. Guy gets the puck on the boards, sees attacking player, turns his back. The D can either quit on the play or try to shove the other guy off the puck. If the guy with the puck keeps his edge, the D might get possession. If the puck carrier loses his edge, the D gets suspended. The NHL made this problem then started suspending people for getting unlucky trying to make the only remaining available play.
But all adding the red-line back in does is create a situation where slow-moving or stationary players get more sucker-passes and can't get out of the way. And it's going to TORCH scoring.
I'd much rather see the silly trapezoid eliminated first before they bring back the 2 line pass.
That doesn't level the playing field. It only helps the teams with the talented goaltenders that can pass. The idea isn't to showcase skill, the idea is to reduce the game to the least common denominator and bunch up the standings until the last day of the season.
I think the push for the red line is to eliminate the 'hail mary' pass. The Rangers have gotten a few goals lately from Hagelin and Gaborik by intentionally icing the puck and having their speedsters chase it down first.
The concussion talk is smoke and mirrors. Bunching up the neutral zone goes against every argument and form of logic regarding the concussion problem.