In SCORECARD (Sept. 2) you describe the World Hockey Association plan to eliminate the center red line to speed up the game. Please note that in NCAA hockey there never has been a center red line, and any question as to its effect on the game has long since been answered.
The American Hockey Coaches Association has fought NHL pressure to use the red line in college in the belief that we have a better game.
RICHARD F. VAUGHAN
Past President AHCA
I think the new NHL rule permitting substitutions only on the fly is a good one. However, the free-shot rule is bad. It might cause more whistles and delays than it stops when players accidentally enter the face-off circle, or when opposing players continue to flop on the rebounds, thus causing a game of free shots. Also, in the heated struggle to clear the puck a fight might develop, which would waste more time.
The rule that makes it illegal for goalies to go to the bench without a substitute coming in may be unfortunate for goalies with legitimate equipment problems but is necessary because of the number of times goalies claim to have such problems.
As for the WHA suggestion of eliminating the center red line, I hope it doesn't catch on in the NHL. There probably would be conservative games by the dozen, with each team trying to keep the other from getting breakaways.
Landover Hills, Md.
It the NHL changes its rules to permit substitutions only on the fly, what are the players supposed to do in televised games during those necessary evils, the commercial breaks—just stand around catching their breath?
Curiously, as pro hockey grows by leaps and bounds, the networks completely ignore the high caliber of the college game, particularly the NCAA championships. Since the semifinals and finals of the NCAA tournament have produced some of the most exciting contests in recent years (e.g., Wisconsin-Cornell in 1973 and Minnesota-Boston University in 1974), I have to wonder why the networks do not televise them.
ERIC E. JAKEL
If the NHL really wants to speed up the game, it might get the network to cut down on the number of commercials it allows. As more and more games are televised, more and more fans wait, bored, while the sponsors have their say.
" NFL exhibition season attendance was up in the stadiums because attendance was nearly perfect at camp" (FOR THE RECORD, Sept. 2). This conclusion has been widely published, but I reject it in favor of another that I think more significant.
I believe NFL attendance went up because the owners stopped allowing tickets to be returned for refunds. Given no alternative, more season-ticket-holders attended the games.