IndyPuck link roundup 3/23

A lot has happened in the hockey world. Time to catch up.

Indy Fuel/ECHL

Indiana Ice

Other Indy hockey-related news

Other hockey

  • The NHL is looking at some rules changes. One is substantial support for 3-on-3 overtime to reduce shootouts. The debate is over the format – either go straight to a five-minute 3v3 OT or use the hybrid AHL format of a 7-minute overtime, with half played 4v4 and then dropping to 3v3 at the first whistle after the clock shows 4:00. The NHL is also looking at changes to the faceoff rules. Instead of the visiting player putting his stick down first (thereby giving an advantage to the home player), the player closest to his own goal would put his down first in all blueline and end zone faceoffs, thereby giving a slight advantage to the offense. An expanded replay/coach’s challenge system is being considered. Good timing, too, given a couple of days after the meetings wrapped up, an NHL game ended on a goal scored with a broken stick, which would likely have been disallowed and overturned if replay existed. Why is this all important? The ECHL often follows NHL rule changes – the two major differences between the two rulebooks is shootout procedure (the ECHL uses 5 rounds, the NHL uses three) and replay (which the ECHL does not use).
  • A minor affiliation swap in the AHL – the Florida Panthers moved their affiliation from San Antonio to Portland (Maine), displacing the Arizona Coyotes. There are rumors that is part of a multi-team shuffle coming from Rochester that would see the Coyotes move their affiliation to Springfield (Mass.), displacing the Blue Jackets, who would move to Cleveland, while the Colorado Avalanche would move their affiliation to the open San Antonio team. While all of that would ultimately make sense, especially for the Blue Jackets – who would have their prospects in Ohio and be able to further develop a fanbase in Cleveland – and for the Avs, who would have their prospects closer to Denver – Springfield is denying those rumors, stating that it has a year left on its affiliation agreement with Columbus (and in turn, the Cleveland-based Lake Erie Monsters have a year left on their agreement with Colorado). That movement could mean some movement in the ECHL, too.