Open letter from Gary to Shanny
With the recent Research, Development & Orientation camp being watch closely by NHL rules guru, Brendan Shanahan, Gary Bettman made sure he got his two cents in before any rules are implemented. Below is a copy of the memo.
Below please find a list of rules I’d like to see tested at the upcoming RDO camp. Some of these came from folks I’ve been talking to around the league, and others are my own ideas. I know you’re working on your own list, so it’s your call on which ones you go with in the end.
And of course, if you think any of my ideas are so good they should skip the RDO altogether and just go straight into the rulebook, that’s fine too. I can totally make that happen.
To cut down on premeditated “payback” brawls, refuse to allow players to fight after a faceoff unless they can produce a handwritten permission note from Mario Lemieux.
Comprehensively test the new headshot rules, and then survey the players afterwards to see if they feel like they understand them; if any of them do, back to the drawing board.
Remove the trapezoid behind the net in an effort to increase/decrease whatever it is that having a trapezoid behind the net was supposed to decrease/increase in the first place.
As an experiment, try going an entire 60-minute game without calling the Vancouver Canucks for a single penalty, icing or offside, just to find out what they’ll whine about afterwards instead.
Not really an on-ice rule change, but we should definitely increase pension payouts for players who retire when they’re 36. Uh, no reason. (Idea suggested by Brad Richards.)
To assist with video replay, add a yellow “verification” line which is exactly one puck’s length behind the goal line for 29 teams, and exactly one puck’s length plus a few inches behind the goal line for whichever net the Sabres are shooting at.
Given recent personnel changes in the league head office, maybe have one of the referees try calling a penalty on Gregory Campbell just to see what would happen.
Consider cracking down on obstruction penalties and eliminating the red line. (Idea suggested by Daniel Carcillo.)
Increase scoring by forcing goalies to be more aggressive about playing the puck rather than freezing it, because if video games have taught us anything it’s that every pass ever attempted by a goaltender goes directly onto the stick of an opponent standing right in front of the open net.
Spend as much time as possible tinkering with the way offsides work, because if there’s one thing that NHL fans are always complaining about, it’s the way offsides work.
I don’t know, maybe try some sort of rule against biting?
Consider trying the curly fries instead of the regular fries, everyone says they’re really good. (Idea suggested by Alexei Yashin.)