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The NHL might be able to avoid dangerous collisions on potential icings.
Abolish the trapezoid behind the net, so the goaltenders can come out and play the puck. If the NHL is so concerned about dangerous collisions behind the goal, allowing the goalie free reign behind the net is essential to reduce these injuries.
So many of the dangerous collisions on icing touch-ups come from the fact that the goaltender must stand and watch as his teammate races back with the opposition because he can only play the puck in the restricted trapezoid.
It’s naïve to think that this would eliminate all of these injuries, but changing this rule would at least allow the NHL to see if it does cause an adjustment.
Another change? Make a final judgment on kicking the puck. There is simply too much gray area with this rule. What is a “distinct kicking motion”?
To be honest, after watching thousands of NHL games and seeing more than a handful involve close calls in the crease, I still don’t know what a “distinct kicking motion” is.
In my estimation, the best thing the NHL can do is either allow it or deny it. I would allow it. Anything off the skate is a good goal, even if the player kicks it like he’s Adam Vinatieri. Take out the guesswork.
One more change: get rid of the delay of game. It was a novel concept at the time, but it has now devolved into a guessing game between the referees.
Did the player hit it out on purpose? Did it tip another stick? Was he in his zone? Just say no to the delay of game and kiss it goodbye. It’s frustrating to watch anybody sit in the penalty box for flipping a puck out of play.