1. Eliminate Offsides
Our most radical idea, eliminate offsides. If the league wants to encourage scoring, allow the players more unrestricted space to play. It could allow for more creativity in playmaking and scoring, but I doubt it would get as extreme as players essentially camping in the offensive zone waiting for the puck.
The thought is to reduce the stoppage in play that frequently occurs due to offsides whistles. Offsides have hardly been a perfectly run operation. For whatever reason, the League decided to make the distinction that a player is onside when the player’s skate is in contact with the ice sheet and enters the zone with or after the puck.
Charlie Coyle fell victim to this because it was deemed he didn’t have possession of the puck:
The NHL has altered the offsides rule so that (starting next season) it follows the football logic that if the skate breaks the plane (which is extended above the ice sheet to the ceiling) of the blue line after the puck enters the zone, the player is considered onside. This is an improvement in the right direction, but it doesn’t completely fix the issue.
There’s still the potential situation that a player is trying to tag up from being offside, momentum completely moving away from the goal line, but still be considered offsides if the individual doesn’t do it in time, which is ridiculous. The player isn’t impacting play or gaining an advantage by this marginal mistiming, but due to coach’s challenges, they can take goals off the board for insignificant and inconsequential infractions.
Joel Faarabe had his first NHL goal taken off the board for this:
The Colorado Avalanche had the Game Tying goal in Game 7 taken off the board due to Gabe Landeskog not leaving the ice quickly enough, despite no one on San Jose giving him any attention and Landeskog had no impact on the play.
What do you think of our pitched rule changes? Which is your favorite? Are they too crazy? Make Perfect Sense? Have ideas of your own? Drop your ideas in the comments below or tweet at us @FSGonePuckWild