GMs Recommend Rules Changes
By Rachel Alexander and Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, June 17, 1998; Page C6
The NHL's general managers met yesterday afternoon and made several recommendations to the Board of Governors on rules changes they would like to see implemented for the 1998-99 season. The proposed changes including instituting a two-referee system, changing the shape of the goal crease, increasing the authority of the video goal judge and moving the goal line two feet farther from the boards will be voted on at the Governors' meeting in Toronto on June 25.
Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee said he endorsed all the proposals except the one to move the goal line. The goal line, now 11 feet from the end boards, would be moved out to 13 feet to give skaters more mobility behind the net and increase scoring chances. The new layout would not affect the distance between the bluelines and the goal lines but would shrink the size of the neutral zone from 58 feet to 54 feet.
McPhee said he abstained when the general managers voted on that rule because "I think we could use more flow in the neutral zone and it will be taking space away from there, but we'll see how it works out."
McPhee did endorse re-shaping the crease, chopping off the sides to create a box shape with a half-moon on top, instead of the entire crease being in a half-moon shape. "So many of the violations come when one guy's foot is in that other corner of the crease, away from the play, so this would eliminate that," McPhee said.
Under the proposed rules, the video goal judge also would get the authority to contact the referee to point out a skater in the crease. Currently, the video goal judge can only review a goal at the referee's discretion.
After the game, Capitals officials announced plans for a rally Thursday night at MCI Center to celebrate the team's postseason success, but later canceled the event because of logistical concerns.
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