Ideas for Hockey

July 18, 2010,

The Bellis Bend... preventing hocky injuries at the player bench ends.

Keywords: Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara's devastating hit on Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty Mar 8, 2011 stanchion padding improvement redesign glass boards design

Fixing the End-of-Bench "Death Ram"

This is an extremely easy engineering problem to fix and it should be changed immediately in all rinks.




Using shootouts to decide a game is an embarrassment to hockey. It should be changed to alternating powerplays. The powerplay is a genuine demonstration of the skill and dominance of a team, and its use would be consistent with the spirit in which the overtime rules were created: not overworking players in a long, grueling season.

  1. Round 1
    1. Visiting team gets a full 2-minute, 4-on-3 powerplay. If they score, the home team must match them to stay alive.
    2. Home team gets a full 2-minute, 4-on-3 powerplay. If they score and the visitors haven't, they win. If both have scored, round 2 is played.
  2. Round 2, if necessary:
    1. Alternating 2-minute, 5-on-3 powerplays (again visiting team first) with the team scoring unmatched by the other team winning, or if both score, the team scoring in the shortest time winning.


There was a time in the NHL when misconduct penalties were a way for the refs to control the game without having to put themselves in the postion of being perceived as controlling the score. Return to that time.

Intentional Offside

When the rule was changed to allow delayed offside calls, I doubt it was imagined that players would intentionally send the puck into the zone to allow their teamates to clear the zone and give their team a 5 second unhurried breather... and in the process escaping any risk of turnover. Stop allowing this by calling it intentional offside and doing a faceoff in the defensive zone. This won't slow the game down by having more faceoffs because players will stop taking advantage of the rule.

Penalty Shot

Call a penalty shot much more agressively and stop it with all the ridiculous hair-splitting judgment calls: whenever a player who is the last line of defense commits a penalty against a breaking away player, call it. Players will accept this because in their minds they know it should be called---all hockey players know it has nothing to do with being free-and-clear by a body length!---and it will be great for the game. And unlike shootouts to decide a game, which is a travesty, this is a legitimately exciting part of the game.