GMs give new rule proposals

Archived from 1998-99 season.

1998 Playoffs

NHL teams

The NHL general managers Tuesday recommended several new rule changes to be implemented at the start of 1998-99 season.

In the ongoing quest to add offense to the game the GMs recommended moving the goal line and reducing the size of the crease.

Under the proposal the net would be 13 feet from the end boards, two more than under current rules. This would reduce the size of the neutral zone between the two blue lines from 58 feet to 54.

Also the crease would be reduced by two feet on both sides of the goalposts. The current semi-circle, with a six-foot radius, had been in effect since the 1986-87 season.

The NHL Board of Governors will make the decisions on all of the recommendations on June 25 when it meets in Toronto.

Other rule changes would include:

  • Empowering the video goal judge to call down to the referee to advise that a player was in the crease at the time a goal was scored. Current rules provide only for the referee to request a video review.
  • The gradual phasing in of a two-referee system during the 1998-99 season.
  • Waving off icing when the goaltender leaves his crease but does not play the puck.
  • Assessing an automatic game misconduct to any player who receives a major kneeing penalty.

Also announced were plans to impose stricter suspensions against players who use their stick or elbow and cause injury to an opponent's head.

The league will also experiment during pre-season games with the elimination of the center-ice red line for two-line passes.

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