The KIJHL will adopt a pair of new rules next season that have been a mainstay in the NHL since the lockout ended in 2005. Of note, players will be assessed a 2-minute delay of game penalty for shooting the puck out of play in the defensive zone, and teams will no longer be allowed to make line changes after icing the puck.
I chatted with Rebels head coach/GM Steve Junker this morning on the new regulations, take a listen here.
I've never been a big fan of the delay of game rule personally, and would love to see statistics on how many times an opposing team scored on a power-play resulting from a delay of game penalty in the NHL last season. Adding to that, a number of rinks in the KIJHL (I think of Beaver Valley specifically) have very low glass, which could result in an adverse number of penalties being called in some barns as opposed to Osoyoos' Sun Bowl Arena which has very high glass along the seated side. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out as the season progresses.
Our friends in Fernie have an interesting take on the Hockey Canada head-shot rule set to be implemented as well, read that here.
Bits & Bites: A pair of former KIJHLers are listed in the final NHL Central Scouting rankings ahead of the annual draft which begins Friday. Former Rebel Ryan Renz (BCHL Vernon) and former Nitehawk Joey Baker (BCHL Trail) will no doubt be watching their phones as the weekend progresses. With the addition of 2 new clubs in Chase and Summerland, it appears as though the KIJHL will play a 52-game regular season schedule, up from 50 in 2010-11. 32 of those games will be within the division.