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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
AHL To Test Revisions In Ice Markings

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

By Jason Chaimovitch
Director of Public Relations

SPRINGFIELD, MA … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that the AHL, at the request of the National Hockey League, will carry out a limited test involving revisions to the neutral-zone ice markings, in an effort to evaluate the impact of an enlarged neutral zone on the offensive flow of the game.

The test will comprise adding two feet of width to each blue line beginning at the leading edge of the line in the attacking zone, and adding one foot to either side of the leading edges of the center red line.

For the purpose of determining a two-line offside pass, the initial pass will be permitted from within the enlarged blue line, thereby increasing the size of the neutral zone by as much as five feet. The size of the attacking zones remains unchanged.

“With all 30 NHL teams developing their prospects in our league, the AHL provides an ideal opportunity to evaluate these potential changes,” Andrews said. “We remain committed to assisting the NHL with the growth and development of our sport, and we are confident that this test schedule will allow for a fair assessment of the proposal without compromising the competitive balance of the AHL.”

The design of the test is such that it will not impact the competitive results within the league, as four teams will compete with these markings only against each other, in a total of eight games. They are:

December 27 St. John’s at Hamilton
December 28 St. John’s at Hamilton
December 28 Manitoba at Toronto
December 30 Hamilton at Toronto
January 6 Manitoba at St. John’s
January 7 Manitoba at St. John’s
January 23 Toronto at Manitoba
January 24 Toronto at Manitoba

The last of these games, between Manitoba and Toronto at Winnipeg Arena on Jan. 24, is scheduled to be televised live across Canada on Rogers Sportsnet.

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