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Vegoe wrote:

I guess the tag-up offsides rule makes sense to keep applying on up as most of the kids have always played that way at this point. It does encourage players to handle the puck more rather than just dump it into the zone.

I guess I understand taking away icing the puck shorthanded… as why would you make it easier to kill off a penalty… but I don’t know if that’s ever going to be called at the higher levels of hockey that way, so it’s a tough one for me. Definitely promotes players to play with more skill though.

I like faceoffs for power plays always starting in the offensive zone.

I just hope that the major/game rules don’t change the way games are called. I’ve seen possible majors called as minors just to avoid the harshness of the penalty.

Agree with most of what you said. Yeah, it will be interesting to see at Bantams. And then players new to the rule at High School. Back when I worked youth hockey I always thought it was strange hearing PeeWee and Squirt coaches harping on systems and dumping the puck. What a boring way to play the game as a kid. Make them take it from you, encourage creativity and playmaking. A dump-in should be a last resort, not a go-to play at the youth levels.

I have been an advocate of not icing while shorthanded for awhile. I never understood, why when a team breaks the rules and is penalized, we suddenly allow them to break a different rule during that time. If the NHL wants to increase scoring, that’d be a big one right there. I do agree on the higher level aspect though. Funny thing about that though:

Hybrid Icing – started in the USHL.

No line change after icing and puck out of play in D-zone – started in USHL. And has only had more instances added like knocking the net off.

Faceoff in attacking zone after penalties – started in USHL (with lots of weird exceptions before it got to where it is today).

So there is some hope it could work its way up. Even if it doesn’t, I think encouraging kids at a young age NOT to rely on just firing the puck down the ice constantly is good. Because if it is allowed, coaches will “strongly suggest” the kids do it.

I too am worried about Major/Game changing the way it is called a bit. I also agree that officials, especially more prevalent at the youth levels, have a tendency to err on the side of a lesser penalty. Whether to avoid paperwork, or kicking a kid out of additional games… who knows, but it happens. I always appreciated that Jr. Gold hockey had the “Game Ejection.” Sometimes as an official you can tell a guy is having a bad night and don’t want to wait for his 5th penalty, and he needs to get off the ice but doesn’t need to sit out the next game because of it. That’s what the E.J. was for. I have had on-ice conversations with other officials where “yeah, but is it worth him sitting the next game” comes up. Shouldn’t be a question, but it is. Nobody enjoys kicking kids out of games, but it needs to happen at times.

When I work with newer officials, I try to tell them – Major Penalties are like Pornography; you know it when you see it. If your brain stops you and goes “holy $h*t” – that’s a major penalty. But guys still really try to talk themselves out of it more often than not. Hopefully this rule change has the desired effect.