|(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)|
This year, the AHL will try out new rules around fighting and icing. In addition, we mourn the loss of the dry scrape. Rest in peace, you waste of five minutes of my evening. The league will do the same cleaning procedure after regulation as they do for promotional timeouts. No zambonis.
The league is looking to deincentivize fighting even more with the addition of several new rules. First, fights at the faceoff dots are going to earn an automatic game misconduct. This should reduce the number of staged fights we see in the league.
Further, as a player accumulates fights over the season, they will garner league suspensions for getting too many. From fights 10-13, each one will earn a player a one game suspension. For 14 and beyond, it will be two games.
Had those rules been in place last season, 22 AHL players would have been affected. As you might have guessed, none of those players were on the Texas Stars. Based on the way Texas plays hockey, you can expect that this rule won't affect their roster.
In a bid to further increase offense, the league will be removing the ability to use a timeout after an icing call. Coaches have long used their timeout as a way to get around the no-change nature of an icing call against them. Tired players will have to stay on the ice this season, which could lead to more goals.
Finally, the league will change up the uniform policy. Teams will wear light jerseys at home until the Christmas break and dark jerseys at home after the Christmas break. That will be a nice chance for the Texas Stars to show off their victory green uniforms.