Former NHLer Proposes Some Interesting Rule Changes

Published September 3, 2023 at 9:01

Every year, the NHL's Board of Governors meets to talk about possible rule tweaks. These changes mainly focus on player safety, but they also aim to make the game better for both players and fans.

Johnson's Rule Suggestions

Mike Johnson played 661 games in the NHL from 1996 to 2008. Since retiring, he has become more of a personality and always has intriguing insight. Johnson recently shared some big ideas for rule changes on the NHL Network. He started with the topic of hand passes:

"From now on going forward, we're going to allow hand passes from every player in every zone," said Johnson. "There's no reason why a defensive team if the puck's in there I can grab it and give it and break it out, but as an offensive player I can't. Why would I not have the same rules for the offensive team as the defensive team?"

Keep in mind that Johnson also mentioned that players shouldn't be allowed to lift the puck off the ice when doing a hand pass, but it could be tough to decide if that happened.

Revisiting Disallowed Goals

Johnson didn't stop there. He wanted to rethink the rule that says goals scored by kicking the puck shouldn't count:

"The other... any goal off a skate counts," said Johnson. "Here's my safety amendment.... except in the blue paint."

He also suggested changing how high sticks are penalized when a goal is scored:

"There is no high stick rules for goals," added Johnson. "People don't swing their stick at pucks, and if they do and they hit you in the head, you go to the box and you don't get to come out when they score two goals."

These ideas raise some safety concerns. Even with Johnson's suggestion to make kicking goals safer, there's still a chance players could kick near opponents outside the blue paint. The high-stick rule change, although logical, might also encourage more stick swinging, which Johnson says is rare.

Nevertheless, it's great to see Johnson coming up with interesting ways to improve the game. Constant improvements are essential to keep NHL hockey enjoyable for fans all over the world.

As seen on House of Hockey - Ex-NHLer Johnson Speaks Up: Gary Bettman and the NHL Should Be Listening to the Creative New Rules He Has Proposed
September 3   |   113 answers
Former NHLer Proposes Some Interesting Rule Changes

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