Listen, there are all rules in the NHL’s official Rule Book that we don’t like. Myself, it’s the puck over the glass delay of game penalty. Not only does it always happen at the worst possible time (always nice to see it happen at the start of overtime), it penalizes clearly unintentional acts.
As any former middle school troublemaker knows, sometimes the best way to get rules changed is to point out every possible loophole that you can. Sure, sometimes this means loopholes get closed to your disadvantage, and sometimes it means that rules get thrown out because no one wants to bother dealing with enforcement. It might not always be a win for that troublemaker, but long-term, it streamlines things and clarifies things. Is that the troublemaker’s intent? Not necessarily, but if it helps, it helps.
Former Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, and Philadelphia Flyers coach Roger Neilson was one such troublemaker. He’s also in the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builders category thanks to his many innovations - watching video of opponents seems like a no-brainer now, but he was the first to employ it frequently, and he was the first to pull his goaltender for an extra attacker when the face-off was at the opposite end of the ice at the end of a period. Those are such commonplace things that we don’t think of someone having to originate the ideas, but they have to come from somewhere - and that somewhere was Neilson.
He’s also famous for attaching a white towel to the end of a stick and waiving it like a surrender flag to officials after one particularly bad streak of calls. You have to respect that.
SB Nation’s Secret Base has created a video about modern hockey’s best innovator that you’ve probably never heard of. It’s worth a watch. If you enjoy this, head on over to their YouTube channel and give them a subscribe - they don’t just do hockey.
If you could troll the league into changing a rule, what would it be?