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SI's Solution: A TRIAL RUN
Jeremy Roenick
March 10, 2003
There's a precedent for deciding whether to break with NHL tradition. Let's use it again
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March 10, 2003

Si's Solution: A Trial Run

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There's a precedent for deciding whether to break with NHL tradition. Let's use it again

With the steady decline in scoring since the 1990-91 season—when there was an average of 6.91 goals per NHL game, compared to 5.31 this season through Sunday—the question of whether the elimination of the red line would punch up the offense needs to be answered. And here's the best way to do that: Give it an extended trial, like the one that led to the introduction of four-on-four overtime in 1999-2000, by having the American Hockey League, the NHL's developmental league, play a full season without the red line. If the number of goals and scoring chances increase, then use the next NHL preseason as a final test. Let's see if a simple rule change can halt the recent run of defensive dominance and give the world's most creative players a better chance to showcase their skills.

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