NHL: Should Netting Be Considered out of Play?

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NHL: Should Netting Be Considered out of Play?
Recently an issue has come to the surface regarding the netting above the glass at the ends of hockey rinks.

The issue was brought back up after a pucking went into the netting but was not seen by the officials.  Many players on the ice who did see it assumed that the play was dead and let up.

The result was a goal scored that, under current rules regarding the netting, should have been waived off.  Instead, it was allowed to stand due to the rules of what is re-viewable.

The issue is whether or not the netting should be considered out of play.

There are those, such as Bill Clement and Red Wings commentator Mickey Redmond, who have advocated a change in the rules to allow play to continue.

With all due respect, that is the dumbest idea I have heard in a long time.

The only reason the netting was put there was to protect the fans. A puck that goes over the glass is out of play. Further, a puck shot over the glass from the defensive zone is an automatic delay of game penalty. 

Putting the nets in play would mean that if you shot a puck over the glass to the side, where there is no netting, you get a penalty.  But if you toss it up in the net, it's okay.

They could argue that tossing the puck into the netting is different because the puck stays in play.  But really, it would be a cheap way of escaping pressure by the other team because it would slow play down enough to recover.

The other issue it would affect is the new icing rule. 

Today, the team that ices the puck cannot change the players on the ice. If a team can ice the puck high into the net and give themselves a good chance to beat the other team to the puck or switch lines before the icing is called, more teams will start the high dump and icing will again be used to slow the game down.

Both of these rules that would be impacted were put in place to speed up the pace of the game. Changing them to allow the netting to be in play would wipe away those gains and produce an adverse effect.

While Arena Football has a fan base and can be an exciting game, it is not the NFL. Do we, as fans, really want to see hockey played with pucks being fired off the netting?

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