TORONTO ON - AUGUST 18: NHL scouts watch an on-ice session where new faceoff locations were tested during the 2010 NHL Research Development and Orientation Camp fueled by G Series on August 18 2010 in Toronto Canada. (Photo by Matthew Manor/Getty Images)

Dramatic NHL Rule Changes Under Microscope At August Research Camp

Some radical and some common-sense rule changes will be tested at the NHL's second annual Resarch, Development and Orientation Camp on August 17 and 18.

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4 Total Updates since August 17, 2011
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NHL Could Make Immediate Switch To Shallow Nets After Research Camp Testing

The NHL is considering the use of smaller, shallower nets that could make goal calls and replay challenges easier — and the league could put them into use for the 2011-12 NHL season after its Research, Development, and Orientation Camp.

The proposed switch is to a net that is 40 inches deep, four inches shallower than the current 44-inch depth, and has a clear plastic strip and a built-in high definition camera that could aid in goal verification. League executive Brendan Shanahan thinks the new nets could be destined for testing use in preseason play.

“I think that the shallow nets are something that I'd really like to try in at least an exhibition game and see how players react to it,” Shanahan said Thursday.

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke indicated that the Leafs would volunteer to be one of the teams testing the nets, and coaches Dan Bylsma and Dave Tippett, of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Phoenix Coyotes, respectively, had players talking about the net giving players extra space to maneuver at the end of the ice.

For more news from the NHL's Research camp, stay tuned to our StoryStream.

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New Tie-Breaking Procedures Tested At NHL Research Camp

The NHL is currently testing several potential new rules at its second annual Research, Development and Orientation Camp. On Tuesday, the league explored different tie-breaking options, including playing three minutes of playing 3-on-3 hockey after a four-minute period of 4-on-4 to avoid a shootout. The proposal, sure to excite nostalgic Wayne Gretzky 3D Hockey fans, was met with with mixed reactions. 

"I prefer 4-on-4," Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said. "I'd like to keep 4-on-4. If we're going to extend it, keep it at 4-on-4. Three-on-three is not enough players on the ice, in my opinion."       

Dave Armstrong, GM of the St. Louis Blues, was more optimistic.

"I think it's certainly interesting to get to the 3-on-3," Armstrong said. "I think if we want less games ending in the shootout, it's certainly an avenue we should explore, going right to the 3-on-3 and eliminate the 4-on-4. When I come to these events, I say what's the goal you're trying to achieve and work your way back. If our goal is to achieve less shootouts, the 3-on-3 makes a lot of sense."    

The NHL also tested changes to the current shootout system, such as increasing the number of skaters involved from three to five, and allowing shooters to go again once the five-man rotation has been completed. Currently, players can't shoot again until the entire active roster has been exhausted. The proposed shootout changes received much more dissent from team officials. Here's Rick Dudley, Director of Player Personnel for the Toronto Maple Leafs:

"I can remember, I'm in the International Hockey League coaching and we won it when a defenseman, Ian Herbers, who happened to score on about the 20th shooter and we discovered he was really good in shootouts," Dudley said. "We actually moved him up the list, but we had never really thought about him because he wasn't a high-scoring defenseman, he just happened to have great poise and he was a great guy that had reach and he scored about the 20th shooter into the thing. That, to me, I just like to see ... I'd love to see when you get down to the lower end of the roster. I think it's wonderful."    

For more news out of the research camp, stay tuned to our storystream.

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NHL Testing Curved Glass At Research Camp

The NHL is currently hosting its second annual Research, Development and Orientation camp. Among the potential new rules and updated safety regulations being tested are the benefits of curved glass to eliminate the pointed, 90-degree intersection of the glass at either end of the players benches

The curved glass should protect players much better than the thin padding currently masking the sharp corners. The glass is designed to deflect players back into play should they run into it. There is no need for padding as the the glass itself gives in about an inch and half upon impact before bouncing back into place. NHL Facilities Operation Manager Dan Craig explains:

"The curve itself is a continuation of the straight line from the glass and then it bends around," Craig said. "There is no place to put a pad. If you put a pad there, you create a hazard of having a shoulder stick and twist because this is a free-flowing system. If you're coming down the wall at the players' bench and there is contact, your shoulder will deflect off of that and you'll continue into the play."

The new system, which the league hopes to have in place for the 2011-12 season, should go a long way in preventing incidents like this one from last season between Zdeno Chara and Max Pacioretty.

For more news from the NHL's Research camp, stay tuned to our storystream.

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NHL To Test Radical Rule Changes At Second Annual Research Camp

Some radical and some common-sense rule changes will be tested at the NHL's second annual Resarch, Development and Orientation Camp on August 17 and 18.

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