In her latest article for ESPN.com, hockey writer Emily Kaplan polled several NHL superstars with a simple question, “What changes would you make to the game and why?” The answers ranged from Olympic participation, to expansion to escrow and back, but one topic that was on the top Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid’s mind was a pretty drastic rule change.
McDavid, perhaps the fastest neutral zone player in all of hockey, would like to see the re-introduction of the two-line pass in the NHL. In his own words:
I feel like everyone says to put the red line back in. Just because teams are now -- they just trap. They just sit back. Put the red line back in and everyone has to come back and regroup and build speed and come through the neutral zone. That could either help it or completely hinder it because now you just can't get to the neutral zone anymore. I don't really know what the answer is, but just find a way to make that neutral zone easier. Nowadays teams just throw up the 1-3-1 or the 4 and you just have to chip in every time and it gets kind of boring to watch.
Interesting idea. McDavid already manages to produce 4 or 5 excellent scoring chances per game with his blazing neutral zone speed, could you imagine how many more end to end rushes he could lead if things were loosened up even more?
What do you think? Are you a proponent of the re-introduction of the two-line pass? Or do you think it would hinder offensive breakouts?
Oh, and if you need a little reminder of what this kid can do with some neutral zone space, we got you: