Friday, 8 June 2012

Import Rule, 7-Point Plan to be Reviewed

If Hockey Canada gets its way, we'll see less
imports like Alessio Bertaggia in the CHL
The Canadian Hockey League's import rule is up for debate, again.

A motion at Hockey Canada Annual General Meeting last month is calling on Major Junior Hockey to reduce the number of imports to one per team by the 2013-2014 season.

It's not the first time there's been a call on the CHL to reduce the number of imports but WHL commissioner Ron Robison doesn't think there's any changes coming in the near future.

"It's an ongoing discussion both at the league level and at the CHL level and we'll have further discussion on it at the CHL board meeting," said Robison on Thursday, "It's also been part of our discussions with Hockey Canada as part of the Canadian Development model approach. We are going to look at that and it'll ultimately be a CHL decision by the board."

There was also a motion at the Hockey Canada AGM requesting Major Junior hockey to establish a maximum number of American players by 2013-2014.

That likely won't garner any reaction from the CHL, who hold that any limits on American players in the CHL should coincide with Hockey Canada limiting the exodus of Canadian players across the border.

Meanwhile, the Western Hockey League's annual general meeting will be held in Calgary next week.

A review of the league's seven point plan to reduce head hits is one of the items on the agenda.

"I think we were concerned that the injury levels continue to maintain themselves but we have a good system in place to deal with that, both from the standpoint of the playing rules and discipline," said Robison, "I think the most important thing is we have a buy-in from the coaches to continue to educate the players."

One of the other major items likely to be discussed is the CHL/NHL agreement, which expires later this month.

A new deal isn't likely to be negotiated until the NHL and the NHL Players Association can agree on a new collective bargaining agreement.

"Hopefully, that's not something that will involve a lockout of the NHL for any length of time and we can get a new agreement," said Robison, "It's very important that we continue to fund programs like our regional development support for minor hockey and our officiating programs."

The CHL/NHL agreement also covers a number of other things including junior-aged players that were drafted out of the CHL being ineligible to play minor pro.

The WHL will also discuss some minor rule changes, and a preview of what those might be come out of the QMJHL earlier this week.

The Q has eliminated the trapazoid area behind the net which restricted the goaltender from playing the puck.

A pair of situations for video review were also added -- a hand pass made to a teammate in the offensive zone immediately before a goal is scored and a puck that was touched over the shoulders and recovered by a teammate immediately before a goal is scored.

The QMJHL also approved the rule which doesn't allow substitutions after an icing call from the defensive zone -- a rule that has already been in place in the Western Hockey League for a number of seasons.

1 comment:

Trav said...

Hockey Canada continues to be a joke lol with some of their dumb ideas. The imports have been great for the CHL, in fact I'd say bring in MORE imports, not reduce them to one.