Blog Entry

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:43 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 1:40 pm
rdoBy: Adam Gretz

The NHL will be holding its Research, Development and Orientation camp in Ontario next week, an event that helps the league test potential rule changes. They will be using 30 prospects, as well as head coaches Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh) and Dave Tippett (Phoenix) to test the potential changes, ranging from no-touch icing, hybrid icing and no line changes for a team guilty of being offside, among many, many others.

Dan Rosen at has a complete rundown of everything that will be tested (and there's a ton of stuff going on), as well as a schedule for each day.

A couple of the proposals that will be tested that stand out to me:

1) REMOVAL OF THE TRAPEZOID Yes. A thousand times yes. Implemented after the lockout as part of the effort to increase goal scoring across the league, it put a restriction on goaltenders leaving their crease and going into the corners to play the puck, limiting players that had spent years improving their puckhandling ability (guys like Martin Brodeur, Marty Turco, etc.). When I spoke with Phoenix's Mike Smith a couple of weeks ago, a goaltender that's regarded to be a strong puckhandler, we talked about this briefly and you can probably count him as somebody else that's probaby in favor of giving goaltenders more freedom. Limiting the movement of players on the ice (which this rule does) just seems to go against what the game is all about. And if your goaltender can't handle the puck effectively, well, he either needs to improve that aspect of his game or your team needs to find a goaltender that's capable of doing it.

2) NO ICING PERMITTED WHILE SHORTHANDED Now here's a way to potentially increase scoring, at least as far as the power play is concerned. By calling icing in shorthanded situations (you're currently allowed to ice the puck while on the penalty kill, which is the only advantage the shorthanded team has) you're going to increase the number of offensive zone faceoffs for teams on the power play, which is bad news for teams that are down a man. The dangers of defensive zone faceoffs are obvious -- the closer a team starts to the net it's trying to score on, the better chance it has of getting a shot on goal and scoring if it can win the faceoff (you can read more about the dangers of Defensive Zone Faceoffs by clicking here). And this is true in even-strength situations, let alone power play/penalty kill situations. Not a huge fan of this one as it gives teams on the power play yet another sizable advantange. Playing a man up (or two) is enough. A couple of years the NHL made it so every power play starts in the offensive zone, regardless of where the offending team gained control the puck to draw the whistle on a delayed penalty call.

3) OVERTIME VARIATIONS The current tiebreaking procedure in the NHL consists of five minutes of four-on-four sudden death overtime, followed by a shootout if the tie is not broken. The shootout has been a polarizing addition to the league, and last year the NHL took a small step toward reducing its impact by not including shootout wins as part of the tiebreaking procedure in the standings.

Another way to help reduce its impact (and the number of shootouts) is to give teams more overtime to play with, including several minutes with fewer players on the ice.

One idea that will be tested will be to switch ends, play four minutes of four-on-four hockey and then, if the tie is still not broken, switch ends again and play three minutes of three-on-three hockey. After seven minutes of four-on-four and three-on-three hockey it stands to reason that, given the amount of talent that will be on the ice and the additional room that will be out there, somebody will manage to get a goal and break the tie before a shootout is required. I like this idea quite a bit and would like to see it get some serious consideration, if for no other reason than the potential to see some of the three-on-three lineups teams like Pittsburgh, Detroit, Washington, Vancouver or Chicago could throw out there, and the type of back-and-forth hockey that would follow.

Just because these are being tested doesn't mean the rules will be changed or added to the league, it's simply a way to see them in action and take a test drive.

Photo: Getty Images

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 9:44 pm
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Since: May 28, 2007
Posted on: August 14, 2011 1:18 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

You definitely cannot change a rule to allow a goaltender to be hit because of the increased chances of injury. A goalie with all their padding on are less versatile and less agile and are not able to move out of the way to avoid a check. Just because they have extra padding on does not make them less prone to injury. Most of the serious injuries that occur from being hit have nothing to do with padding anyways, such as  concussions, broken bones, torn ligaments/tendons, or sprains/strains... . You can't allow a goaltender to be hit, especially against the boards!!

Since: Jan 28, 2011
Posted on: August 12, 2011 10:53 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

How about this:

1. Goalie can play the puck anywhere on his end of the ice. But if he does he is to be treated like another defensemen and can be pinned up against the boards and hit.

2. I like the idea of not allowing the short handed team to ice the puck. I think this would be better.

3. What is wrong with the shoot out? I hear people say they don't like to end a game that way. If you can show me where one team has an advantage over the other one then fine I would go along with doing away with it. But nobody can because both teams have an even chance of winning. Similar to #1 above. If you have a goalie that is not good at shootouts then he needs to work on that aspect of the game. I say do the 4 on 4 in overtime and then the shootout. All you have to do is go to a game to see how great it is to walk out and head home at a decent hour with a definite finality to the game,

Since: May 25, 2008
Posted on: August 12, 2011 2:22 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

I agree with this 100%. 

Since: May 25, 2008
Posted on: August 12, 2011 2:21 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

Ugh no.  Win 2, loss 0   TIE AFTER 5 MINUTES OF OT  1.   Worked before.  No game with two outcomes (win or lose) should have 4 different point totals awarded IMO.  No 3 on 3 OT, no shootouts.  Baseball teams don't take players off the field in extra innings, or have home run derbys to decide a winner.  They also don't get half-game in the standing for losing in extras.  You win, you lose, each win should be worth the same, each loss should be worth the same. 

Since: Jan 31, 2010
Posted on: August 11, 2011 5:56 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

I agree with most on here, lose the trapezoid, never should have been there in the first place.

As for the OT rules, they need to stop over-complicating it with these ideas. Heneage hit it on the head, if both teams are tied at the end of regulation time, DO NOT award a point to each team. Make them go for the win in the OT period, it would make the teams play harder especially if playing a division/conference rival who they are close to in the standings. If no one scores in the OT, then award a single point to each and do the shootout. Would make for much more exciting hockey in extra time!

Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: August 10, 2011 7:45 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

Any penalty in 3 on 3 should result in a penalty shot.

Since: Feb 29, 2008
Posted on: August 10, 2011 6:48 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

Amazing.  Middle of the summer and more people care about hockey now than at any point during the actual season.  I agree with any rule changes that put more value into regulation victories.  I like the soccer style idea that rewards 3 points for a win.  Then cut it to 1 point for an overtime or shootout win and uh points for any type of loss.  You lost.  Getting to the end of the 3rd period tied should be meaningless. What do baseball teams get for going to the 10th or basketball teams get for overtime.....nothing... Treat icing like illegal defense in basketball.  Do it 3 times and you give up a penalty shot.  Also, let the goalies go wherever they want and let em get hit too. 

Since: Aug 10, 2011
Posted on: August 10, 2011 5:43 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

I'd take it a step further, make it no touch icing during a penalty.

Since: Aug 10, 2011
Posted on: August 10, 2011 3:02 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

stop smoking drugs!

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