Details of next week’s Research, Development and Orientation Camp have been released, with everything from perennial rule change nominee no-touch icing to shallow back nets in line for some testing. The NHL will gather a couple of its premier coaches in Jack Adams winners Dan Bylsma and Dave Tippet, along with a crop of the game’s top prospects for the purpose of exploring potential changes to NHL rules.
Bylsma and Tippet will guide 36 of the league’s top 2012 NHL Entry Draft hopefuls through an array of scrimmages and drills while experimenting with some radical ideas, and others less adventurous.
The NHL’s Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan on testing potential changes, via NHL.com:
“Whether we’re trying something that is a popular idea or an unpopular idea, all of it is done to just give us more information. This is all about us being proactive and not reactive. The game has never been better, but we don’t want to rest.”
“I think there is some interest the way the game has evolved just seeing exactly how the players would adapt to some of the older rules like that.”
Here’s the schedule for the two day event taking place at th MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence in Etobicoke, ON:
Wednesday, Aug. 17 10:00 a.m – Noon
• No-touch icing
• No line change for team committing an offside
• Faceoff variations (penalty line for center committing an infraction; all faceoffs in circles; same linesman drops puck for all faceoffs)
• No icing permitted while shorthanded
• Verification line (additional line behind the goal line)
• Overtime variation (four minutes of 4-on-4 followed by three minutes of 3-on-3)
• Shootout variation (5-man shootout precedes sudden-death format)
• Shallow-back nets
2:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m.
• After offside, faceoff goes back to offending team’s end
• Faceoff variations (both centers must come set on whistle; all faceoffs in circles; same linesman drops puck for all face-offs)
• Delayed penalty variation (offending team must exit zone in possession of puck to stop play)
• Changes only permitted on-the-fly (except after goals and upon manpower changes)
• Strict enforcement of goaltenders covering puck outside crease (Rule 63.2)
• Remove trapezoid
• Verification line
• Allow hand passes in all zones
• Overtime variation (switch ends)
• Shootout variation (5-man shootout with repeat players if tied after 5 shooters)
• Thin-netting nets
Thursday, Aug. 18 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
• ‘Hybrid’ icing
• Offside variation (offending team can’t change and faceoff in its end zone)
• Faceoff variations (player encroaching can’t replace thrown-out center, all faceoffs in circles; same linesman drops puck for all faceoffs)
• All penalties to be served in their entirety
• Strict enforcement of goaltenders covering puck outside crease (rule 63.2)
• Bear-hug rule
• Verification line
• Overtime variation (switch ends for four minutes of 4-on-4, followed by three minutes of 3-on-3)
• Shootout variation (3-man shoot out with repeat shooters if tied after 3 shooters)
• Shallow-back nets
1:30pm to 3:30pm
• All-Star Skills competition (fastest skater, breakaway challenge, accuracy shooting, skills relay challenge, hardest shot, elimination shootout)
Other technology/modifications to be tested during various sessions:
• On-ice officials communication — ref-to-ref wireless
• Overhead camera — to assist Hockey Operations reviews of various initiatives (verification line/goal netting/in-net camera)
• In-net camera — mounted camera at one end with one net with camera view focused on the goal line to help verify goals
• Robotic camera — to test camera angles for coverage closer to ice
• Video replay application review
• Curved glass — protection options at players bench areas
The All-Star Skills portion of RDO camp will test out some new twists on the traditional fastest skater, hardest shot and challenge relay events, with the purpose of the updated competition being put on display at the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa on January 28.
This will mark the second consecutive year that the NHL has held its RDO camp.