NHL Experiments with the Rules of Hockey

Posted on October 3, 2010  Comments (4)

The NHL’s ice-capades

The players—who were, in an attention-getting wrinkle, mostly top junior stars eligible for the 2011 draft—road-tested everything from two-on-two overtime to shallower nets to having the second referee view the play from an elevated off-ice platform. On day two, viewers were confronted with the bizarre spectacle of the traditional five faceoff circles being replaced by three, running up the middle of the rink.

Placed in charge of the R & D effort, and the sales job surrounding it, is retired hockey great Brendan Shanahan, now the league’s vice-president of hockey and business development. “There were some ideas that were adventurous and others that were subtle,” says Shanahan, about the recent camp. “I wanted to capture the full spectrum.” Shanahan, who had the final say on the testing schedule, takes the scientist’s view that a “negative” experimental result can be as useful and instructive as a “positive” one. “Sometimes you just have to see things play out to really satisfy your curiosity,” he says. “What I told people that got sort of frightened at some of our far-out ideas is that sometimes your goal is to breathe life into an idea—but other times, you try it out because it’s time to put it to bed.”

I applaud their willingness to try experiments. I am a sports fan who doesn’t find much interest in the NHL, but I do enjoy Olympic hockey.

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4 Responses to “NHL Experiments with the Rules of Hockey”

  1. Harry Holsinger
    October 4th, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

    it’s too bad that very few of the ideas that they have, or have had over the last decade and a half have done anything to improve the game, and are more “change for the sake of change”

  2. Anonymous
    October 7th, 2010 @ 8:40 am

    This is the way that rules are invented. I love Olympic hochey to.

  3. Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog » Why Don’t Football Players Just Thrown the Ball Out of Bounds to Stop the Clock
    October 24th, 2010 @ 10:43 am

    […] Randomization in Sports – NHL Experiments with the Rules of Hockey – Physicist Swimming Revolution I think I can slip this into a management context by seeing […]

  4. Anonymous
    November 23rd, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

    I prefer NHl just because the fact that the game is much more aggressive etc – more bodychecks and fights! 🙂

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