Memo outlines idea, including ousting tie games

Updated: July 9, 2005, 7:19 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Whenever the NHL returns, it could look a lot different.

USA Today reported Saturday that the league is contemplating several changes, including adding four playoff teams and eliminating both the red line and tie games.

In a league memo obtained by USA Today, director of hockey operations Colin Campbell outlined 13 possible rules changes that are being considered by the newly-formed rules committee, which is comprised of players, general managers and an owner.

Campbell's memo said the rules changes would "let the skill players play, increase scoring chances, maintain physicality of [the] game, take away defensive team's tools [and] give to offense, [change the] culture [and] entertain."

According to USA Today, some of the proposals include allowing zero tolerance for interference away from the puck; reducing the size of goaltending equipment and limiting how goalies can handle the puck; ejecting players who get an instigator penalty in the game's final five minutes; and giving players who shoot the puck into the stands from the defensive end a two-minute penalty; altering the icing rule; and eliminating tie games by first going to a four-on-four five-minute overtime period, then playing three minutes of three-on-three and finally switching to a three-man shootout if the score is still tied. The memo also suggests two points for a win and no points for an overtime loss, although that is expected to face heavy opposition.