Former NHLer Mike Johnson proposes some big rule changes.
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Former NHLer Mike Johnson proposes some big rule changes.

Former player Mike Johnson calls for some major rule changes in the National Hockey League.

Jonathan Larivee

Each and every year the National Hockey League hosts a board of governors meeting where new rule changes, and potential rule changes, are proposed and discussed but the changes that emerge from those conversations are usually relatively minor in nature.

This week on the NHL Network, former NHL player Mike Johnson made it clear that he feels some big changes are needed to  improve the game and he made a case for his proposed changes when he was given the opportunity to do so. First on the list for Johnson was the rule regarding hand passes in the offensive zone.

"From now on going forward, we're going to allow hand passes from every player in every zone," said Johnson. "There's no reason why a defensive team if the puck's in there I can grab it and give it and break it out, but as an offensive player I can't. Why would I not have the same rules for the offensive team as the defensive team?"

Johnson was clear to indicate that players wouldn't be allowed to pick the puck off the ice to do so, with the rule applying to pucks that were already airborne as the result of a shot or deflection. He went even a step further however when he suggested that all goals coming off of a player's skate should count.

"The other... any goal off a skate counts," said Johnson. "Here's my safety amendment.... except in the blue paint."

Johnston also argued that the NHL should do away with the high stick rule when it comes to goals being scored.

"There is no high stick rules for goals," added Johnson. "People don't swing their stick at pucks, and if they do and they hit you in the head, you go to the box and you don't get to come out when they score two goals."

Johnson did get a little pushback from his cohosts regarding his proposed rule changes, but he argued his points well and seemed to largely win them over to his side by the end of the segment. For Johnson's full comments on the topic you can check out the short video below.