the league memo provides a little more detail. Keeping in mind the recommendations could yet be altered, what was presented to the GMs for feedback is as follows:
Smaller goalie equipment, including 11 inch pads.
The reinstitution of the tag-up offside rule.
Moving the goal lines back two feet towards the end board to create more room in front of the net instead of behind it.
The calling of more penalties more consistently, specifically for obstruction on players with and without the puck and not just in the netural zone.
The institution of a shootout to eliminate tie games in the NHL. Before going to the shootout, though, overtime would be modified to include one five-minute period of four-on-four overtime and, if still tied, a three-minute period of three-on-three. If, after eight minutes of overtime, the game is still tied, then it would go to a shootout.
The winner of the game - in regulation time, overtime or the shootout - would receive two points for the victory. The loser, regardless of when the loss occurred, would receive no points.
The blue lines would be made fatter, as per the American Hockey League experiment this season, to slightly increase the size of the offensive zones.
The centre red line will be removed for the purposes of allowing two-line passes.
Goaltenders will only be permitted to handle the puck in a designated area directly behind the goal net, as per the AHL experiment this season.
A modified form of no-touch icing, where the first player to cross the goal line - not to touch the puck - will dictate whether icing is called. In other words, if the defensive player gets to the goal line first, icing will be called. If the offensive player gets to the goal line first, no icing will be called. Also, when icing is called, the team that iced the puck will not be permitted to change lines.
Any player in the defensive zone that shoots the puck directly out of play will receive a two-minute minor for delay of game. In the past, only the goalie was penalized for shooting the puck out of play.
Automatic fines to the coach and suspensions to the player for any fight with an instigator in the last five minutes of the game.
I can't say I support most of these rule changes, but they could have been worse. I like the no points for an overtime loss, though I don't like coupling that with a shootout. Shootout wins should result in 1 point with this system in my opinion.
I agree with most of the rule changes, though agree on only 1 pt for shootout win. And for the love of God please get rid of the instigator penalty and let the players police themselves. No respect for each other out there.
Goalie equipment: fine with it though it has more of a scapegoating feel to it (oh those dasterdly goalies and their gigantic pads....)
tag up offsides: love it
goal lines back: like this too
more penalties: whatever. we hear this every year and we all know what'll happen
shootout/OT modification: I don't like shootouts to decide games that mean something, even in the regular season. They're artificially exciting, like getting a boob job. Sure they look great on the outside but they're just not natural. The rest of the modifications I like though I'd prefer 10 minute 4-4 to the 5 min 4-4 then 3 min 3-3 but it's a minor point.
They can play with brooms for all I care as long as they're eliminating the OT loss point.
bigger blue lines: I like this move. Anything to make the offensive zone bigger.
remove center line: I've never liked this idea. I think within a season coaches will figure out a way to counter this effect. It's a very short term solution, IMO.
limited goalie play areas: I don't like this rule. There's no reason good stickhandling goalies should be punished and bad stickhandling goalies rewarded. Then again, I do like the idea of Biron not having to play the puck as much as that'll be a good thing for the Sabres......
modified no-touch icing: I don't like no-touch icing but I can live with this idea.
delay of game penalty: where have you been all my life.
If they're trying to make the game faster and more exciting I'm all for it. If they're trying to just artificially inflate the final score I don't approve. Some of the most exciting hockey games I've ever watched were 2-1 and, conversely, some of the worst games I've ever seen ended up 6-4.