22 July 2005

Hockey, we missed thee

As long as the NHL Board of Directors votes to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement, and they will since they essentially got everything they wanted from the players, then Ottawa's march to the Cup will officially begin today. Of course the big news is the draft lottery today at 4, which will give some team the right to draft Sidney Crosby, expected to be the next Wayne Gretzky. I'm not sure what I'll do if Ottawa gets the first pick, but this won't happen since we all know it has been fixed to give the NY Rangers the first choice (Patrick Ewing, anyone?).

It will be interesting to see what sort of rule changes are implemented. Some are necessary, like limiting the size of goalie equipment and removing the centre red line. The current NHL goalie resembles the Michelin Man, it's no wonder scoring is down so much lately, and anyone familiar with international hockey will tell you how much better the game is when you can pass from blue line to blue line. No touch icing will also cut down on unnecessary injuries. Some of the other rumoured changes are just silly. Forbidding the goalie to handle the puck behind the goal line doesn't make much sense, assuming the red line goes, then having a goaltender like Brodeur be able to start quick breakouts after a dump in would be amazing. And if they change the size or shape of the nets, then I'm afraid Gary Bettman will be in fear of his life whenever he steps foot in Canada. And who wants to bet the enforcer rule stays in place?

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