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A rule change suggestion

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whoops, got the title wrong :(

Original post.

A rule change suggestion

There's no irreplaceable people.
I.V. Stalin
Rushing this one up, because this idea already came to my mind before, but I forgot about it. The age is taking its toll.

Anyways. Everyone is talking these days about rule changes. I've already expressed a few thoughts on the scoring systems, but I am not original there. Now, however, I want to make a suggestion I haven't seen mentioned yet.

Allow soccer (baseball, too)-like substitutions in hockey. Allow the coaches to replace players in the original lineup at the start of the game with one of the "healthy scratches", as submitted in the roster sheet, like the one Peter DeBoer recently messed up in the game against Edmonton.

The substitution goes ONE-WAY. That means that the player that was substituted cannot return to the game. The substitutions may occur:
  • During the intermissions
  • During the commercial breaks
  • During a time-out
First and foremost this will allow teams to handle early injuries much better. Your D-man got injured at the 7:04 mark of the 1st period? Around 10:00 there will be a commercial break, you can substitute him with one of the scratches!
Second, it may allow coaches to send stronger messages to players they deem slacking. Rather than shorten the roster by benching that guy, you can send an eager healthy scratch in. Of course, then the "slacking" player is benched for the whole remainder of the game.
Third (oh, I did military service, so I have a natural obsession of providing three reasons for each thing), it may give the coaches some extra flexibility if a designated roster player gets slightly injured in the warm-ups. Then a scratch takes his place as usual, but if the original player is fixed by the 1st intermission, he can substitute the starting scratch.
The substitutes will have to come from the "scratch" list with the exception of the emergency goaltending contracts.
Oh, and I am sure the NHL website will make a mess out of it in their game reports.


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