About a year ago I did a piece on a rule change that I found amusing and this year, I thought of another one that could be interesting too. It’s a subtle but I think good rule change that I heard from Eddie Olczyk and that is, having the long change for the 1st and 3rd periods instead of only in the second. Having the longer change in the first and the third would lead to more scoring chances.
There are multiple ways that the long change could help change the outcome of the game. The first would be the obvious of sloppy and lazy changes. Lots of bad changes happen at all levels when the changes are longer. That is because players are tired and have to skate longer to the bench. This could possibly lead to a too many men penalty. Which would give teams power plays!
In addition to the sloppy changes, a small, and possibly overlooked result of this rule change is that most rinks the current “home” net, is not at the end of the zam entrance. In rare cases unlike in St.Louis, most home teams would be forced to defend the zam entrance twice. It might not seem like a lot, but in some arenas, the Zamboni entrances can create funny bounces.
While this rule change is very subtle and has the potential to create more scoring, in a financial model, no extra money or construction is needed. So that means cost no expanding the rink surfaces, there is no cost to move dressing rooms for teams that come out of a “home side”. This rule combined with last year’s exploration of ending the pk on a short-handed goal could really change the game!