There are always a few few rules changes at the start of a new season that tweak, however slightly, the way hockey is played in the NHL. The start of this campaign has ushered in a few changes which have stirred discussion among players and fans alike.
- Mandatory visors: Sure it's only been grandfathered in, but that was probably the best that could be hoped for. Hopefully we won't see any more horrific eye injuries like the one that recently threatened Marc Staal's career. The change was coming anyway; when I was a little kid I used to draw and paint hockey players all the time and virtually no one wore a visor. When I took up the practice again a few years ago after a 15 year absence, it seemed like most key players were wearing them and I suddenly had to figure out how to paint clear, plastic face shields.
- Hybrid-icing: It's only being tested in the preseason, but hopefully it's a step in the right direction. I am always in favour of changes that make the game safer, but would love to see no-touch icing (the variant used by basically every other league) adopted. Again, it's about prevent serious, life-threatening injury. No-touch icing made its first appearance almost 25 years ago in Czechoslovakia after Luděk Čajka, a New York Rangers draft pick, crashed into the boards on an icing play while playing with HC Zlin. Comatose and paralyzed, he died six weeks after sustaining his injuries.
- The tuck rule: Apparently this one has been on the books for awhile, but is going to be enforced this season. Players don't seem to like it, especially Alex Ovechkin. Many fans don't like it either. There is a safety element to this rule, but considering that safety matters are usually dealt handled with the "let the players decide" motto and then nothing happens, it seems odd. Some have speculated it is the first step in the the NHL's bid to have advertising on jerseys. I really don't care about this rule change, although think it's odd how much it's been talked about. It does take away a little personality from the game and it seems like something that will be a little difficult to enforce. I can see intermission pundits debating if it was an "inadvertent tuck resulting from play" on a Mika Zibanejad tuck penalty, or if it was an "intentional tuck" and citing his previous jersey-tucking history.
- Smaller goalie pads: The aim is to increase scoring by using shorter leg pads. Sure, everyone but those in net love a 5-hole goal. I think it would have been better to move to international ice size in the 90s and early 2000s when all those new rinks were being built and old barns replaced, but I guess that ship has sailed.
- Shallower nets: Again, more scoring by creating more space between the net and the end boards. I haven't really noticed, but maybe it takes awhile for everyone to adjust to that extra space. Although, Spezza was working behind the net quite a bit against the Leafs.
- Rule 48 clarification: There was also a slight change in the wording of Rule 48 to help clarify to rule. It now reads, per Elliotte Friedman: "Now Rule 48.1 declares an illegal check to the head as "a hit resulting in contact with an opponent's head where the head was the main point of contact and such contact to the head was avoidable."
- Season 2 podcast is underway with Episode 2 from the SCU guys. In this episode they talk to Sens DJ Alex Marchand [Sens Underground]
- ESPN forgot about Bobby Ryan, it happens [6th Sens] But nice things were said about Zibanejad [6th Sens]
- Mark channels his inner Friedman and gives us 5 thoughts for Friday; I really like the look of this and would like more "5 Thoughts" from Mark and well, all the other Silver Seven writers too! [Silver Seven]
- Bryan Murray Red Phone Alert! [6th Sens]
- Bobby Ryan gives his thoughts before his first home game [Inside the Senate] Shane Prince talked about his return to Ottawa [Inside the Senate] and Craig Anderson talked preseason action [Inside the Senate]
- Karlsson skating like old times [Senators Extra]
- Be a GM mode!!!!!!!!! [WTYKY]
- Jeff Ulmer provides a profile on prospect Cole Schneider [SenShot]
- Leafs-Sens recaps: [SenShot] [Radek Bonk's Mullet] [Silver Seven] [The Leafs Nation] [Eye on the Sens]
- Leafs-Sens post-game quotes [Senators Extra] Paul MacLean's post game quotes [Inside the Senate] and photo gallery [Senators Extra]
- Jeremy Milks on the brewing Kadri-Pageau battle [Black Aces]
- I thought Bobby Ryan did a good job navigating all the chatter about a feud with Randy Carlyle [Senators Extra] [Sportsnet]
- Kyle Turris is good and has a contract to match [Yost]
- Wayne Scanlan talks renewed rivalry [Senators Extra]
- Craig Anderson left after two periods last night and didn't return to the bench, some people were worried [Senators Extra] However, he said on twitter he was only playing two periods last night, so my guess is he didn't want to sit in cold, wet equipment for an hour
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins signed an extension for $42M over seven years; Scott Reynolds wonders if the Oilers will end up paying more total money by avoiding the bridge contract [Copper & Blue]
- Derek Zona on the allure of the Cam Neely-type player [Cam Neely]
- When a game is more than a game: the Coyotes raise money to benefit the families of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who died in June fighting a wildfire [Five for Howling]
- 2013-14 Sharks roster chart, complete with pretty graphics [Fear the Fin]
- Jamie Benn has been named the new captain of the Dallas Stars; Brad Gardner looks at his leadership qualities [Defending Big D]
- Did the Jets rush to extend GM Kevin Cheveldayoff? Probably. [Arctic Ice Hockey] But maybe he deserves a few more years? [Jets Nation]
- The National Collegiate Hockey Conference introduced the Julie and Spencer Penrose Memorial Cup as well as the Herb Brooks Coach of the Year Award [Western College Hockey]
- Changes you should consider when participating in an ESPN/TSN pool [Fantasy Hockey Scouts]
- Six questions with NHLPA Agent Ian Pulver [Sports Agent Blog]
- Getting to Know the CBA - Episode 15 from J.J. from Kansas: Article 22 - Competition Committee [Winging It In Motown]
- The division rival Florida Panthers have a prospective buyer [SB Nation]
- Does Montreal have a depth problem on the blueline to start the year? [Eyes on the Prize]
- The time is now for Blue Jackets prospect Ryan Johansen, [Jackets Cannon]
- It's John Tavares' 23rd birthday! My favourite part of this post is the photoshopped cake featuring poinsettia (the plant's association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico) icing and Tavares' face [Lighthouse Hockey]
- If he stays healthy, Vinny Lecavalier can still be an elite centre [Broad Street Hockey]
- The Calgary Flames named defenseman Mark Giordano as the first team captain in the post-Iginla era [Sportsnet]
- Greg Wyshynski on the purpose of the captaincy in the NHL [Puck Daddy]
- Steve Mason is probably on his last chance as an NHL goalie [Broad Street Hockey]
Springsteen Song of the Day
With the Boss' 64th birthday on Monday, we should all spend some time listening to his extensive catalog. Today's suggestion? "State Trooper" from Nebraska, released 31 years ago this month. But really, check out the whole album, it's fantastic.
Another shout out for our Silver Seven game nights, specifically the home opener. Email me at the address on my profile if you are interested. Payment is with Interac E-transfer.
Home opener, Thursday 17 October 2013 against New Jersey Devils.(Sold all 40 tickets)
- Saturday 19 October 2013 against Edmonton Oilers (7 tickets remain)
- Saturday 21 December 2013 against Phoenix Coyotes (11 seats left until end of November)
- Monday 23 December 2013 against Pittsburgh Penguins (4 tickets remain)
All games will be in Section 323 and some where in Rows J, K, L and M. All games will be $40 (about $20 cheaper than if you buy the same tickets yourself).