BOCA RATON, Fla. - The NHL’s 30 GMs are huddled in a hotel meeting room going back and forth on a number of potential rule changes with hybrid icing and player-to-player hand passes getting the most attention.
The GMs will break around 11 a.m. for the day and an announcement on any potential rule changes is expected. The GMs will vote to recommend any changes be forwarded to the Competition Committee who will then review the suggestion and decide whether or not to recommend the change to the board of governors.
One of the topics being discussed is the reduction of power plays. In the 2005-06 season after the lockout and rules changes aimed at opening up the game there was an average of 11 power plays per game. That average is now down to 6.8 per game.
There has been a suggestion that the rules have been relaxed since January but NHL director of officiating Terry Gregson says that’s untrue.
NHL vice-president of hockey operations Kris King says the parity in the NHL has been a factor in the reduction of power plays.
"Our races are so tight, guys aren’t willing to take those penalties. One power play goal can take a team from third to 10th in the standings and coaches can’t have that," said King. "Also, our players have adjusted to the rule changes and changed the way they play the game."