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

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

stop smoking drugs!

Since: Aug 10, 2011
Posted on: August 10, 2011 3:01 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

stop smoking drugs!

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: August 10, 2011 3:00 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

I agree with the first two items listed and like the idea of the new overtime format. 

BUT, what if a team takes a penalty in the three on three situation?

Since: Apr 24, 2008
Posted on: August 10, 2011 2:09 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

1. There shouldn't have been a trapazoid in the first place.

2. The purpose of no icing for the penalty killing team is to get out of a jam, so that rule is stupid.

3. This rule contradicts itself because in essence, you have the shootout so that your gifted players can score the goals you need to close out the game.. what's the difference if your gifted players are playing 3 on 3 pond hockey in the NHL?  

Since: Mar 15, 2007
Posted on: August 10, 2011 2:04 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

I'd also like to see Phoenix relocate to Portland, and Florida relocate to Kansas City. And then expand franchises in both Seattle and Quebec. Then you'd have an incredible conference structure that pays respect to the old four division setup (Pacific, Central, Northeast, Atlantic), but split each of those into North/South. And the rivalries would remain or be enhanced. Columbus and Nashville would go East, Detroit would remain in the Central for its Orig6 rivalry with Chicago, Boston would be in a division with NY for its rivalry, and Montreal remains with Toronto for its Orig6 rivalry. Also Dallas would finally be relieved of the Pacific schedule. The new divisions would look like so:

Los Angeles
San Jose
Portland (relocated from Phoenix)

Seattle (expansion)

Winnipeg (relocated from Atlanta)

Kansas City (relocated from Florida) <-- name them the Jazz and they get to play crosstate rival the Blues (ie Blues vs Jazz)


Quebec (expansion)

NY Rangers
New Jersey
Brooklyn Islanders (relocated from Long Island)

Tampa Bay

Being an outstanding NHL player then commissioner is my alt reality. :)

Since: Mar 15, 2007
Posted on: August 10, 2011 1:52 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

What I would like to see happen is this:

Win in regulation = 3 points in standings
Win in overtime/shootout = 2 points
Loss in OT/SO = 1 point
Loss in regulation = 0 points

So by default, every NHL game has three standings points up for grabs between two teams. Helps to further encourage regulation wins for that extra point.

Since: Nov 20, 2008
Posted on: August 10, 2011 10:00 am

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

No icing when a man short is a great idea. The whole intention of a penalty is to penalize the offending team, Why should the penalized team have a ruled changed to help ease the effect of the penalty.When a football team gets a 10 yd holding penalty they don't get to bring an extra player on for the next play to help equalize the situation. This rule alone will help with eliminating clutching / grabbing and unnecessary roughing etc. Hockey is a game of speed and momentum and watching a team have to go back 200 ft into their own end 5 times during a powerplay kills boths and is uninteresting for the fan. This rule will absolutely result in more goals and scoring chances and less penalties. This is a no brainer.

Since: Mar 31, 2009
Posted on: August 9, 2011 11:53 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

I like the first idea, the trapezoid rule is artificial and doesnt work anyway.  Cuts both ways, as a good goalie with the puck can start the breakout on dump ins which can lead to quick counterattack.

Second rule changes nature of game too much, but is interestng, at least.

I don't like 4-4, let alone 3-3, for same reason I don't like the shootout and trapezoid, it's artificial.  Let 'em play a 8 or 10 min 5--5 OT and if no one scores, it's a tie.  What is the big deal with ties, anyway?  A well fought game that ends in a tie is ok with me.

If they must leave in the current OT and shootout rule, then for heavens sake, award 2 points to the winner and 0 to the loser. Or, at least, to be only semi-gutless, they could award 1.5 to winner and .5 to loser.  I know, I know, the current rule is supposed to make for riskier play in OT, but does it occur to anyone that it leads to much LESS risky play in the 3rd period of a tie game.  We've all seen it.  It's almost collusion, "Hey, let's get 1 pt each and go from there.  Terrible system, and it makes it difficult to compare teams from pre-shootout rules as many teams today have bloated point totals, tacking on 10 or 12 points in games they LOST!

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