Firmly entrenched in this Nowhere Land, making our Nowhere Plans for nobody, I got up to perusing next week's Research and Development Camp, otherwise known as when Brendan Shanahan turns into Dr. Moreau and trots out any possible change he would have rammed through when he was playing to goose his own goal totals. But there are some here that I think are at least intriguing.
-There's a slew of experiments about when you can change lines. They'll be trotting out a team not being able to change lines after being offsides, as well as only on-the-fly changes being allowed. Interesting, not sure what it's trying to accomplish, but if you see someone picketing outside this event, you can be pretty sure it's Joel Quenneville.
-Wysh went over all the different changes to power plays that they'll be trying, but for those who didn't see these are making all minors be served in their full, not allowing the killing team to ice the puck, and forcing them on delayed calls to actually exit their own zone before the whistle is blown. All of these are artificial pumps to goal totals that I don't think fans would go for. As I said on Madhouse and various times over the years, simply more goals is not what brings fans to the game. Action does. A 6-5 game where ten of the goals were on the power play would not be considered exciting. But a 3-2 one where each team is trading chances and big saves and are up and down the ice would be. These rules don't help construct flow and openness, that should be the aim.
-They'll once again be trying the OT format of 4-on-4 and then 3-on-3. Personally, i think the three skaters aside is just about as gimmicky as the shootout, but I guess it comes closer to being real hockey, and thus is better.
-Removing the trapezoid, which should be passed yesterday. Goalies shouldn't be punished for being good at something that not all of them are. Tim Thomas has wicked reflexes, so should he have to play with his limbs bungee corded to each other?
-In the same area, they're going to trot out these shallower nets to allow more space behind. That could open up things for a lot of players who do some good work down there, including one Andrew Brunette.
-No-touch icing will again be up for discussion, but won't pass because we're all intent on seeing players suffer horrific broken legs and busted knees. That really moves the game forward.