This week I will discuss ways to improve the College Hockey game. There are a few of the suggestion that I would enact if I was in charge. I believe some of these tweaks would improve the college game quite a bit.
1.) First thing out of the gate, I would get rid of the mask or bird cage. In my opinion I believe the full cage is a reason there is so much stick work in NCAA Division one hockey. A couple times getting hit in the face might be what some of these kids need to clean up the game. There is way too much stick work in college hockey and I think the mask is the major reason for this. The players have no respect for their opponents and they feel invincible because of the mask.
2.) Put the 'Red Stop Sign' on the back of all jerseys in Division one hockey, still way too many checking from behind penalties in college hockey. If a player sees the 'Red Stop Sign' don't check the player in front of you.
3.) Get rid of the progressive game disqualification for fighting in college hockey. I think college hockey should be like junior hockey. Fighting is part of the game of hockey and if a player gets into a fight, both players should be out for the rest of that game. There is no need for additional punishment. I think the progressive DQ is too punitive, and is a cause of a lot of extra unnecessary after the whistle bravo sierra. Currently; college hockey players know that they don't have to fight when they commit an egregious act or take a run at a team's star players and from past years we know the refs don't always catch these egregious acts or make the right call either. Because of the progressive DQ rule you get ugly incidents like the one that happened in Mankato last season. Players know that they can hide behind the officials and never pay for their miss deeds. In the NHL and junior hockey the players police the game themselves and it helps keep the players honest. Prediction: when the Gophers play the Mavericks this season Brian Schack and Channing Boe will meet on the ice this season and settle their score.
4.) All ties must be broken like the NHL. Over time should be a five minute period of four on four hockey and then a shoot out if there is still no winner. Award point points like the NHL 2 for a win and 1 point for an overtime loss and or for a shoot out loss.
5.) Call the game like they do in the NHL, obstruction in college hockey is still very much a part of the game no matter how many refs are on the ice. If the hand comes off of the stick to hold up a player it's a penalty, hooking is a penalty and not to be misconstrued as good defense. Skill and Speed should be rewarded. It doesn't take any skill to skate up and down the ice hacking and hooking their opponent. Over looking penalties by the refs is unacceptable.
6.) All arenas in college hockey should be required to have over head cameras and goal reviews so the right call can be made on all controversial goals. There also needs to be more than one angle to review these controversial goals, much like the NHL. The NCAA should require each conference to have a war room like the one in Toronto.
7.) I also like to see hockey go to a more durable stick, these carbon fiber stick suck. Sure they are awesome for shooting but I am sick and tired of seeing them break all of the time.